Bike accident has silver lining for Park City boy
August 12, 2016
Twelve-year-old Ryan Staro was riding his bicycle with friends July 16 when they reached a crosswalk and waited for the signal to cross. That's when Ryan's mother, Jana Staro, said things took an awful turn. Ryan was struck by a vehicle that allegedly failed to yield. According to Ryan, the driver stopped only to ensure he wasn't badly hurt, then drove off.
"Luckily, aside from some bumps, scrapes and bruises, Ryan is OK," Staro said in an email. "But unfortunately for Ryan, his bike was essentially totaled. Both of his rims were bent, rear tire was blown out, his back brakes were totally destroyed and his frame and seat were awkwardly bent."
Ryan and other witnesses got the driver's license plate and Staro said police were able to track the driver down. She said her family understood things could have been much worse.
"All in all, my family was incredibly lucky to have escaped such an event with minimal damage," she said. "I still have my amazing kid, he still has all of his limbs, mobility and positive attitude, and everything else can be repaired or replaced."
Staro said Ryan was "bummed" not to have a bicycle for the remainder of the summer but kept a positive outlook. He would allocate the money he'd been saving over the summer to get a new one.
"He kept telling me not to make a big deal about it," Staro said.
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That's when Ryan and Jana Staro found the silver lining — literally. Staro works at Newpark Hotel, which is operated by Destination Hotels Utah. The parent company has what they call the Silver Lining Fund, which is designed to help employees in times of need or hardship. Chris Retzer, managing director of business development for Destination Hotels Utah, said they sprung the surprise on Staro at a manager's meeting July 26, presenting her with a brand new bicycle for Ryan. Retzer said it's an example of the community stepping up to help one of its own.
"Cole Sport was kind enough to sell the bike at cost to DHU, and also donate a helmet, water bottle cage and water bottle," he said.
When Staro brought the bike home she said Ryan was speechless, even asking if he could sleep with it in his room. She said she is thankful her employer made that happen.
"Watching his face light up was the greatest gift in the world," she said.
Ryan wrote a letter of thanks, as well. Written by hand, the letter expressed his surprise and gratitude at receiving the new bicycle.
"I don't even know how to thank you properly," he wrote. "I got my mom to let me sleep with it in my room. I also wouldn't sit on the couch, I sat on the bike.
"It is an awesome bike and I can't believe it's mine."
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