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SUMMIT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Three sleds sit in the Fike family driveway, a sign of the active Fike children — Mark, Lyssa, Ryan and their baby brother.
Just after 8:30 Monday morning, the three oldest children were across the street from their home waiting for the school bus. Kiara Oesterling saw them as she drove by.
“I saw a girl, looked like she was standing by a couple bags of trash, and as I passed, I realized it was a young boy leaning against his backpack and playing on his phone or something, and I thought to myself, that’s not a safe place to sit and wait for the bus,” she said.
A few minutes later, a car came down Geibel and stopped at the stop sign at Pine Drive. State police say the driver reported being blinded by the sun as she started to turn right.
“[She] proceeded to make a right-hand turn and as you can see, the ground kind of drops there. The operator said that she did not see any children when she made that right turn. She proceeded through that right turn, she noticed that she had struck something but didn’t know what it was. She stopped her vehicle and got out to investigate it and realized it was three children that were struck,” Trooper Dan Kesten said.
Neighbor Ellen Enslen lives across the street.
“I heard the little girl screaming. It was a blood curdling scream. I went to see what was going on and the lady came and asked me to call 911. I went up to the scene and I seen the little boy laying there in a pool of blood,” she said.
The driver of the car was rendering aid when first responders arrived.
Eleven-year-old Mark Fike was severely injured and was rushed to Butler Hospital with the intent of flying him on to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
His brother and sister were also brought to Butler. Lyssa was treated for an ankle injury. Ryan was flown to Children’s where his uncle says he’s going to be fine but is being held overnight.
But Mark never made the flight to Children’s. His injuries were too severe and he died at Butler.
Scott Rogers is the children’s uncle.
He says Markie, as the family called him, “was a genius literally. I nicknamed him the professor because he was a little scientist in the making. We have a family lodge and anytime we were at the lodge, all he had was a bucket and he was digging up bugs and animals and critters and you name it. Markie was an unbelievable kid we’re going to miss him.”
At the Summit Elementary School where the Fike children attend, the Superintendent says the staff is in shock. Not only over the loss of Mark, but the woman who was driving the car is on the school staff. Counselors will be on hand at the school tomorrow.
When comments on Facebook started being highly critical of the driver, it prompted the Fike children’s mother to comment and defend the driver.
Margaret Kean Fike wrote: “Back off all of you. I am the mother of the kids that were hit, it was my son that died. This was an accident.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the Fike family in their time of loss and need. If you would like to help, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/mark-fike-memorial-fund
The State Police investigation is continuing.