PALM BAY, Fla. - The Palm Bay firefighters who saved a 13-year-old Palm Bay boy after was struck by a car gave him a special gift on Thursday.
Semaj Lynch and his mother met the crew from Fire Station 5 at a Walmart on Malabar Road where they gave him a brand new mountain bike and a new helmet.
“I’m just overwhelmed for him and happy that these guys showed him that besides what they do they still have compassion for the people, that’s what’s touching me the most,” said Deborah Lynch, the boy’s mother.
Firefighters said on Feb. 12 the boy was riding his bike to Southwest Middle School around 8:30 a.m.
They said as he approached the driveway to the Bee Back Plaza at Jupiter Boulevard and Emerson Drive, he stopped before crossing as the driver of an SUV was waiting to enter northbound Emerson Drive from the plaza.
Lynch thought the driver was waiting for him to cross, and as he entered the intersection he was hit.
The impact with the driver-side tires crushed the bicycle and dragged the boy nearly eight feet and trapped him underneath the vehicle. Lynch managed to free himself and suffered minor injuries to his right leg.
“He did everything right; unfortunately, he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Battalion Chief Gene Harrell. “We just wanted to help him get back on his feet and get to riding again safely.”
The Palm Bay Professional Firefighters Community Benevolent organization purchased a new mountain bike and helmet for just under $200.
“Any time we can help give back to the community, we will,” said District Chief Jim Bliss, who represents the Community Benevolent.