Police may never know exactly why Tuesday’s crash that killed a 16-year-old North Harford student happened, but it serves as a reminder for drivers, parents and students to pay close attention, the commander of the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack said the day after the accident.
“We know what happened. We need to figure out why, and how to keep it from happening again,” Lt. Tim Mullin said Wednesday.
Kyle Lynam, a North Harford High School sophomore, was hit by an SUV as he tried to cross Norrisville Road around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. He was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, where he died.
Services for Kyle are scheduled to take place this weekend. Visitation will be from 1-4 and 6-8 p.m., Saturday at E.G. Kurtz & Son Funeral Home, 1114 Baldwin Mill Road in Jarrettsville. A funeral service is slated to take place at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the funeral home.
The family is asking that donations be made in Kyle's memory to a Go Fund Me Page: For Kyle Lynam, with checks made out to Kurtz Funeral Home, noting it is for the Kyle Lynam Memorial Fund; send donations to P.O. Box 6 Jarrettsville, MD 21084.
Kyle’s bus stop was on the northbound side of Norrisville Road, the same side of the road where he lived, Mullin said. Kyle had missed the bus as it headed north, then tried to catch it on its return trip when he was struck, Mullin said.
The bus’s route continues to head farther north after Kyle’s stop, then turns around at White Hall Road and heads south to pick up students who live on the southbound side, he said.
Kyle was running south on the northbound shoulder of Norrisville Road and when he tried to cross the road, he ran in front of a Chevy Tahoe, Mullin said.
Police don’t know, and most likely will never know, whether Kyle didn’t see the Tahoe coming or if he thought he could cross the road in time, Mullin said.
The school bus had activated its amber lights as it prepared to stop, but had not turned on the red lights or extended the metal arm, State Police said.
The speed limit in that area is 50 mph, Mullin said. He asked the bus driver if he felt like the Tahoe was speeding and the bus driver said “that was not at all the case,” according to Mullin.
Mullin wouldn’t say that the time of day and weather conditions didn’t play a factor in the accident.
“There are no street lights, it was dark, there was a little fog, a little mist, so lower visibility even with lights on,” Mullin said. “I would hope if visibility were better, I would hope the driver would see him.”
It’s unclear how far behind the bus Kyle was when he was hit, Mullin said.
The driver of the bus wasn’t aware the accident had happened, Mullin said, and after he picked up the students at the stop, continued on his route to North Harford. It wasn’t until the driver got to school to drop off students or had begun his Norrisville Elementary route that he found out about it.
Had the driver known about it, he likely would have stayed, and then the students on the bus would have seen the accident. Mullin doesn’t believe any of them witnessed it, he said.
That’s fortunate, he said.
“It’s bad enough the Tahoe driver has to live with that for the rest of his life and carry this with him,” Mullin said.
This accident has been difficult for Mullin, a 1994 North Harford High graduate whose daughter is a freshman at the school. She and Kyle were in biology class together.
“This one kind of hits close to home,” Mullin said.
He encouraged everyone to be aware when they’re driving, particularly when buses are on the roads. Responsibility falls to everyone — drivers, students and parents, he said.
Drivers need to realize that even if they don’t see a bus, children could be waiting for one.
“Be aware kids are at bus stops, standing on the side of the road,” Mullin said.
All it takes is a dropped piece of paper and the student could be out in traffic or distracted.
Parents should not let their children stand at bus stops, especially on main roads, unsupervised, and students “need to be aware of their own surroundings as well.”
“And if you miss the bus, think of a safer way to get to school,” Mullin said.