August 8, 1996 in City

Struck By Patrol Car, Young Cyclist Suffers Severe Head Injury

Associated Press

A 13-year-old boy riding a bicycle suffered a severe head injury when he was hit by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car, authorities said.

Christopher Jantz, who was wearing a bicycle helmet, was in critical but stable condition Wednesday at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, a spokesman said.

The boy’s brain was bruised in the accident, hospital spokesman Todd Kelley said.

Christopher was riding his bike near his Spanaway home with another 13-year-old bicyclist on Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s spokesman Curt Benson said.

The deputy saw Christopher on the edge of the east side of the road and, according to the boy’s companion, Christopher turned into his lane, Benson said.

The deputy tried unsuccessfully to avoid a collision, Benson said.

Christopher’s companion told investigators that the patrol car appeared to be going at legal speeds and wasn’t driving recklessly, Benson said.

The 29-year-old deputy, whose name was not released, is an eight-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, Benson said. The deputy was placed on paid leave.

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