Kingman youth recovering from bicycle accident

A 16-year-old Kingman youth who was seriously injured in a bicycle accident July 14 is recovering at a Las Vegas hospital.

Daniel Leslie, who was not wearing a helmet, was making jumps in front of his home on Spring Street when the front tire spun around the wrong way and he landed on the back of his head.

The teen-ager was airlifted to the children's division of Sunrise Medical Hospital in Las Vegas with a fractured skull, broken nose and numerous cuts and bruises, his great-aunt, Linda Pine, said from Colorado.

Surgeons had to operate twice to release pressure on his brain and remove blood clots.

Though his condition has improved and he has been moved from intensive care unit to a regular room, he faces five to six months of rehabilitation, Pine said.

Daniel, a Kingman High School student, was born in Kingman and his family has lived in the area for 16 years.

Pine criticizes makers of video games that show characters flipping and spinning their bicycles but do not wear helmets or protective gear.

"Children need to realize that when just messing around on a bike for a few minutes, you need to have a helmet on," Pine said.

"I want other kids to realize that this could happen to you.

Daniel is such a vibrant kid.

A spilt second has changed his life."

Pine's goal is to raise money for the family's medical bills as well as awareness for bicycle safety.

Family members have opened a bank account for donations called the Deborah M.

Leslie Benefit Fund for Daniel at the Kingman branches of Wells Fargo Bank.

The Kingman Police Department has held several bike rodeos each year to promote bike safety.

Officers hand out free bicycle helmets and teach parents and children Arizona bike laws and general safety tips.

Arizona does not have a helmet law for bicyclists of any age.

Head injuries account for about 60 percent of deaths in bicycle crashes.

The single most effective safety device to reduce head injuries is a helmet, police Cpl.

Tracie Homer said.

Non-helmeted bike riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash then a helmeted rider.

About half of bike-related injuries for children 10 and younger occur to the head, Homer said.

Only 15 to 25 percent of children use a helmet in the country, statistics show.

Homer said if parents cannot afford to buy a bicycle helmet for their children, they can contact the police department for a free helmet.

"Enforcing kids in wearing their helmets starts with the parents," Homer said.