Teen who hit 9-year-old was driving car without a license

File Photo/JENNIFER COMPSTON-STROUGH MARTINS FERRY police respond to an accident Monday evening involving a vehicle striking a 9-year-old bicyclist on Grant Avenue. The boy underwent surgery on his leg bones that were broken during the accident.

MARTINS FERRY — It is possible a teen driver who struck a 9-year-old boy riding a bicycle Monday evening could face additional charges, Police Chief John McFarland said.

McFarland said the driver, a 17-year-old girl from Rayland, did not have a driver’s license or a learner’s permit at the time of the accident, which occurred about 8 p.m. on Grant Avenue in Martins Ferry. So far she has received citations charging failure to control and no operator’s license.

McFarland said officers who investigated the case believe the boy rode his bike out into the street without paying attention, leading to the teen driver striking him in the street.

However, the incident report will be forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office to see if any other charges should be filed. McFarland noted that no one reported seeing the teen using a cell phone while driving.

Meanwhile, the boy still is in a Pittsburgh hospital. Both of his legs’ femur bones were broken during the crash.

“I talked to his mom … his surgery went well,” McFarland said prior to Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

“He was riding with some other kids. It’s something I did 37 years ago. I remember a dozen times not paying attention and flying out in front of cars,” he added.

“It’s sad and I hate to see it. Basically, there is not a day that goes by that I’m not yelling at some kid or another on their bike or riding their skateboard down Zane Highway. We do everything we can to make it safe, but we can’t be everywhere at the same time.”

McFarland’s message to drivers is to slow down, pay attention and watch for children playing — especially during these summer months.

His message to youngters is similar — slow down and stop and look for cars before riding across the street. He said parents need to keep teaching their children how to ride their bikes, scooters and skateboards safely as well.

McFarland added that he did not know if the teen’s parents were aware she was driving without a license. She was driving a Chevy Lumina.

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