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Police: Student won’t be charged in crash near Coronado High

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 | 5:45 p.m.

Accident location

An 18-year-old Coronado High School student remained in critical condition Tuesday night, and a fellow student who drove a van that struck him won't be charged in the accident, police said.

Henderson Police Officer Todd Rasmussen said the bicyclist was crossing Sunridge Heights Parkway at Rich Perez Jr. Drive, located about a block south of Coronado High School, at 6:49 a.m. Tuesday morning when a 17-year-old student driving a Chrysler minivan accidentally struck him.

Rasmussen said the bicyclist, Austin Paxson, was in a crosswalk at the time of the accident, but was riding his bike instead of walking it through the crosswalk as required by city ordinance. He wasn't wearing a helmet.

Paxson was taken to St. Rose Hospital, but was airlifted to University Medical Center's trauma unit where he remained in critical condition.

The accident is under investigation, Rasmussen said, but it appears the 17-year-old driver won't be charged.

"We don't believe speed was a factor, or drugs or alcohol or anything like that," he said. "There might have been an issue with sun glare."

Rasmussen said there are a number of safety reminders to be drawn from the accident.

"Any time your vision is obstructed while you're driving, proceed with caution," he said. "Bicyclists should always walk their bicycles through a crosswalk. And everybody, adults and children alike, should always wear helmets when riding a bike."

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  1. Austin was one of my best friends. I had only recently moved from Henderson, and it was terrible when I received a call from his mother about the accident. Being so far away after the move and not being able to visit was very worrisome, we were not sure that he was going to live and I was very angry, and very sad... He has fully recovered long since the accident and I thank God that he is alive and well.