The death of David Britton is a reminder to all of us on the importance of safety and awareness as bicyclists and drivers share the road.
Britton was struck by an ambulance on an emergency call, which then impeded from completing its run, possibly delaying help that was needed elsewhere. A second Fire Department vehicle that had been traveling with the ambulance returned to the scene of the accident to render aid.
According to a report by the Anderson Police Department, Britton was riding in the wrong lane and entered the intersection when his lane had a red light. According to reports and witnesses, the cyclist crossed in front of the ambulance when it was moving with lights and sirens activated.
While the accident remains under investigation, we can all learn something from tragedy. It is important for both cyclists and motorists to remain vigilant when sharing the road. Never use headphones, ear buds, cellphones or any other devices that may distract you while driving or biking.
We do not know what distracted Britton that day or why he didn’t react to the sirens. We also don’t know if the ambulance driver was distracted from the road, although we have no reason to think so as the driver swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting Britton.
Emergency vehicles need a clear path to get to their destination and save lives. It is tragic that a life was lost on this particular run, and even more tragic that it was preventable.