Local News

11-Year-Old Raising Awareness About Crosswalk Safety

BRANDON, S.D. - Look through the McKeown family photos and you'll know 11-year-old Ryley McKeown likes to ride his bike. 

"It's just become a hobby after long enough," Ryley McKeown said. 

But a new photo shows bruises on his face after a ride gone wrong. 

"When I hit the ground I didn't cry. I just screamed," Ryley said. 

On Wednesday around 4:30 Ryley McKeown left Taekwondo on his bike. 

He says he pressed the button at a crosswalk near Brandon Valley middle school and waited for the signal to cross.

When he started riding his bike, that's when he says he was hit by a pickup. 

His parents' first thought?

"Well at first, I wanted to know if he was okay," Mother Jen McKeown said. 

Later, the conversation shifted gears. 

"Ryley said, 'You know mom I'm okay, but maybe we can use what happened to raise awareness about crosswalks because you know this has happened before,'" McKeown said. 

In fact, Ryley had a close a close call once before. 

Now, there's a Facebook page raising awareness about crosswalk safety. 

It's called "Watch and Wait," something Ryley wants all drivers to do. 

"Cars are bigger than kids and a car comes in and hits a kid or an adult for that matter it could be lethal," Ryley said. 

Kelli Volk: Do you think this could save lives?
Ryley: I think it could because I'm lucky I wasn't hurt worse than I am. 

Ryley says the driver did stop to check on him. 

Ryley's mom says they've spoken to the driver's family and he feels "terrible" about he incident. 

The Brandon Police chief says the incident is under investigation. 

Ryley also has advice for kids.

He says you should make eye contact with drivers before you cross the road. 

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