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Boy, 7, killed in bike wreck

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Child collided with truck; bike a Christmas gift

By Nancy Parsons

GREAT FALLS – A 7-year-old boy was fatally injured about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, after his dirt bike collided with a tractor- trailer truck on S.C. 97 near Great Falls.
Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker said Tristan Gabriel Mericle of 5116 Great Falls Highway, Great Falls, was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma.
Tinker said the boy was riding a Baja 49cc Motorsport dirt bike he got for Christmas when he was struck by a city of Lancaster tractor trailer truck.
Investigation continues
Lance Cpl. Billy Elder of the S.C. Highway Patrol said Matthew Wade Wilkens, 26, of Lancaster, was driving a 1994 International truck with a trailer and was traveling east on S.C. 97.
Elder said Tristan was driving a 2008 dirt bike northbound on private property when the two collided.
Elder said the Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation into the crash.
Tristan was the son of Shawn Wayne Derric Mericle of 5116 Great Falls Highway, Great Falls, and Amy Mericle of 5545 Shirley Road, Fort Lawn.
Tristan’s father had just ridden up the road on his motorcycle when the accident happened.
Someone had to go after the father and bring him back, Tinker said.
Tristan celebrated his seventh birthday on Dec. 22, Tinker said.