“Wear it for Berrett”

Helmets should be mandatory, because they save lives.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Berrett Crossley’s family, who lost their son due to a skateboarding accident at the Buckley skatepark March 2.

Going forward, everyone out at the local skateparks who skateboards, rides a BMX bike, or a stunt pro-scooter needs to join the movement, put on their helmet, and say “Wear it for Berrett.”

I would like to see a “Helmet Drive” take place at the Buckley Youth Activity Center sponsored by local businesses and donors who want to make a difference. Anyone in attendance that day under the age of eighteen would be able to place an online order for a new helmet and any other protective gear they need via laptops set up at tables in front of the BYAC.

My sons ride their pro-scooters at the Buckley skatepark all of the time, and my son knew Berrett from there, and had positive things to say about him.

For the past year I have been upset and disturbed by the fact that so many of the kids, teens, and even young men in their twenties I see at the skatepark by the BYAC simply do not wear helmets, as if helmets “aren’t cool.”

Newsflash: Helmets save lives and should be required just like wearing a seatbelt when driving a car, or wearing a bike helmet while bike riding, and in my opinion the kids who wear them are the coolest of all, and the best role models for my sons.

Helmets should have been mandatory long before this incident and I’m so very sorry that this wonderful young man has gone to heaven early simply because he wanted to be like the teenagers and twenty-somethings out there who were creating a climate where helmets weren’t ‘cool’, which is both dangerous and ridiculous.

I also find it disturbing that many parents in the community allowed their teenage and adolescent children to be out on the concrete and steep drops with no helmets on, setting a bad example for the younger kids, again sending the message that ‘helmets are optional’, and ‘go at your own risk’. This was reckless, negligent, and dangerous.

I hope this is a wake-up call to everyone involved, because if there had been a helmet requirement and ordinance in place in the first place,

1) everyone out there would have been wearing protective head gear to minimize the effects of a fall on the hard concrete,

2) helmets would be ‘cool’ (the ‘in’ thing),

3) police would have been driving by and checking to enforce the rules, and

4) the middle-schoolers would have been emulating the high schoolers and twenty-somethings and wearing helmets as they should be.

It’s just common sense.

In my Medical Coding Courses I learned about head injuries and the causes and risks. Going ‘helmet-less’ to ‘look cool’ is not worth it. Helmets may be itchy and sometimes a little heavy, but they protect your skull and everything in it.

“Wear it for Berrett.”

Elizabeth Hunt