An 11-year-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries after he was hit by a pickup truck in Las Vegas as he was on a sidewalk riding his electric bicycle to school, his mother says.
Rayan Kim was struck on Tuesday at around 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of Cactus Avenue and Cliff Lake Street by a 2012 Nissan Frontier while he was on his way to Gunderson Middle School.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said Rayan was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk of Cactus Avenue when he was hit, knocking him off the bike, before he was run over by the truck.
“I miss my son,” his mother told KLAS. “I’m scared.”
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Rayan suffered life-threatening injuries from the crash and was transported to University Medical Center. His injuries include a fracture to his jaw and facial bones, a broken left arm, severe road rash to his skin, hemorrhage on his brain, bleeding and losing half his right ear.
“He lost his right ear, skin, and face,” his mother said.
The boy’s mother told KSNV that he left home for school on the morning of the incident and said, “Mom, I love you.”
“That’s the last time I heard his voice,” she said.
In an update shared Friday on a GoFundMe page created to support Rayan’s surgeries and recovery, family friend Kristen Penny said the boy is alive but will still require further surgeries. She revealed that he is responsive and can hear. Penny called it a “miracle” that he remains alive.
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“After Rayan’s two hour surgery, doctors still are not 100% on his eye sight,” Penny wrote. “His hearing is also not fully recovered but with more surgery we are all hopeful! Bones surrounding his eyes will need surgery and wiring. The breathing tube is out of his mouth but they have made an incision on his throat to run the breathing tube through much easier. The road rash on his skin will need separate surgery and be removed hopefully next week with skin from his thigh. At this time we are also not sure about the movement on the right side of his body and we pray he will make a fast recovery!”
The driver, 39-year-old Leo Gonzalez-Ceron, was not injured in the crash. Police said he stayed at the scene after the collision and that he did not appear to be impaired at the time of the incident.
Police are urging drivers to be aware of their surroundings at intersections after back-to-back bicyclist crashes involving children last week alone.
“We don’t [need] more victims,” Rayan’s mother told KLAS. “We must teach and show them what real love is and what is safe, and how to save future children.”
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Penny said on the GoFundMe page that Rayan “is such a bright light in everyone’s life and a very caring older brother to his younger sister and younger brother,” adding that he was very involved in his Catholic Church and enjoys jiu-jitsu and the clarinet.
The GoFundMe page has raised more than $53,000 of a $100,000 goal as of Sunday morning.
The boy’s middle school also set up donations and asked community members to drop off cards and gift cards for Rayan and his family on Friday.
“He’s always by my side and affects everyone’s life,” Rayan’s mother told KLAS.