The purple bicycle with white seat and tires, and pink hand grips on its white handlebars, never fell over. Instead, it remained upright, stuck in the grill and bumper on the front of the small blue pickup where the two collided just after noon Wednesday on South Street in Burlington.
Merle Smith, 75, of Burlington, a retiree from General Electric, was westbound on South Street heading toward home when the bike, and the girl riding it, appeared suddenly in front of him.
"She didn't have a helmet on. It could have been a lot worse," Smith said.
What could have been worse wasn't, though, and Jazmin Wright, 8, suffered only minor injuries, which Burlington paramedics bandaged by the curb in the 1500 block of South Street before helping the girl into the back seat of her grandmother Barbara Wright's SUV for a trip to Great River Medical Center to be checked over by a doctor.
A clearly shaken Smith, who sat in the grass adjacent to his truck as paramedics treated the girl, said he only had a second or two to react. The girl, shod in pink flip-flops and with a purse dangling over her shoulder, fell off the bike in front of him after the collision.
Aneesah Howard, who lives on South Street near where the accident occurred, said she was coming home and about to pull into her driveway when she observed the girl riding her bike on the sidewalk. Moments after pulling into her driveway, Howard, said, she heard the collision.
"It was a crashing noise, and I then I heard her scream," said Howard, who has lived the past five years across from Summer Street Park and not been witness to anything like what happened there Wednesday.
She and her daughter, Kaneciah, 16, ran to help the girl, who she saw jump up and run to the middle of the street before sitting down by the curb. Kaneciah Howard called 911, helped halt traffic until police and paramedics arrived and tried to comfort Wright, Aneesah Howard said.
The girl was calm as paramedics bandaged her knee and arm, and as her grandmother arrived. She became upset when it occurred to her her mother would be upset she was biking in a place where she was not supposed to be.
The truck, a small Ford Ranger, sustained minor damage to the grill. The bike appeared to be undamaged.
No charges were filed.