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Update on motorcycle accident involving QC dad and 7-year old son

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An East Moline dad and his 7-year old son remain in a Peoria hospital after a motorcycle accident Thursday night.

Tim Hay, 51, and his son Nathan were airlifted to Peoria after the motorcycle skidded on wet pavement at a Silvis intersection.

Police say neither were wearing helmets.

Illinois and Iowa are one of only three states without any type of helmet law.

For kids in Illinois, the only motorcycle law on the books is all about size and not age.

"The only requirement for the child is that they can reach the foot pegs," said Illinois State Trooper Jason Wilson.

Penny West, with the area A.B.A.T.E, an organization which opposes any kind of helmet legislation, said wearing a helmet is a matter of personal choice; with both adults and children.

And says it's up to the adult to know what age is safe for a child to be a passenger.

"It's the parents' and grandparents' responsibility to know that child, who knows them better? Is your child big enough? This father did not set out to injure his child. It was an accident," said West.

A family member told News 8 that the little boy is doing better and is out of intensive care, while the father remains in critical condition and has undergone surgeries.


  • Kim Smith

    Wearing a motorcycle helmet is “a matter of choice”. You can chose to leave your family without you, chose to miss first steps, first day of school, weddings, etc. Your family has no choice. I lost my Dad when I was 8, my sisters were 3 and 6. My dad had no helmet, at least with a helmet, there would have been a chance.

  • Colleen

    We are made to put our children in proper carseats by law to keep them safe from the seat belt injuring them. He may not have set out to injure the child. But what if they would’ve been hit by a car or something far worse than losing control. To me it’s a no brainer. You don’t want to wear one, fine but don’t take a chance on your childs life!

  • Eric Swanson

    What has been failed to be reported over all these years, is that in the vast majority of accidents, is that it’s NOT head injuries that are the main cause of a death from a motorcycle accident. The main cause of death or lifelong debilitation is the trauma to internal organs and the spine sustained when striking solid objects (cars, roads, handlebars & windshields, helmets, etc.) While wearing a helmet is a “feel good” for the general public, and is a knee jerk “if I have to wear a seat belt, they should have to wear a helmet”, the facts don’t bear it out.

    Helmets, whether DOT or SNELL certified are, by the very definition of the codes for certification, designed to protect the head from impact under 13 mph (DOT) and 22 mph (SNELL) respectively. A helmet that drops from waist height to the ground just once is considered structurally unsound, and by either standard has to be replaced. This certainly depletes my confidence level in its ability to protect a small portion of my entire body. The extra weight of the helmet, while possibly leaving a head that might look good in a casket, is more than the average neck can support. Add to that sudden impact to the torso and the sudden snap to the cervical vertebrae/spinal cord created by inertia, and the helmet becomes more your enemy than your friend (as in the case of Dale Earnhart.)

    Maybe we should require all cars to have full roll cages and all occupants to wear fire retardant suits, 5 point seatbelt systems and full face helmets with HAN systems, no communication devices or radios, fuel cells instead of gas tanks, automatic fire extinguisher systems, etc. Let’s see how far that goes!!!

    The sense of “I’ll be just fine” if anything happens because I have a helmet on (same mentality as forced seatbelt and airbag usage) overtakes the common sense and responsibility of paying absolute attention to your driving, the driving of all of those around you, road and weather conditions, etc.

    Point is, accidents happen, with the biggest culprit being lack of paying attention. Put down your phone and pay attention to you’re driving, and I’ll continue riding responsibly and paying attention to mine. If an accident happens, so be it, but I’ll know I’ve done my part. There is nothing that can be done to make everyone “safe” all the time.

  • Lois A Hadden

    If people think its a matter of choice whether to wear a helmet on a motorcycle, ask my family what we think. We lost my sister because she refused to wear one. She left behind a husband,
    daughter, son, grandchild, me, my children & on & on. She was only 46 years old. It’ll be 14 years in September since her family had to make the choice to pull the plug on life support or let her lay there in a vegetative state. If this is what you want for your family, then by all means, don’t wear a helmet. But I hope your conscience is clear that you’ll one day leave your family grieving your loss because it “was a matter of choice”.

  • Margaret

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion yet if you wanna make things worse to a grieving family, keep commenting, you’re bound to find someone in their family reading this! Smh!!

  • Audra Bern

    I have to agree with eric swanson.. i used to ride and i loved every moment of it. I was never a fan of the helmet law as it should be a choice. I also tell others that i would rather take the chance of coming out of a head injury apposed to instantly breakin my neck because of an oversized shell on my head.. i am sure mr. Hay saved his little boys life and passed away with honor knowing his boy was ok.. my thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of this man.. RIP and enjoy the ride in the sky

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