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Parents of 10-year-old Wallingford boy killed by car push for "Tristan's Law"

Law would require safety measures on ice cream trucks.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — There is a new push for legislators to pass a bill called "Tristan's Law", named for 10-year-old Tristan Barhorst of Wallingford who was hit and killed by a car in Cheshire last summer after buying ice cream.

"No family should ever constantly have to walk by an empty child's bedroom. He was perfect. he was kind, he was brave. He had fears, but he always fought through them whether it was getting up in front of a church and talking," said Tyler Barhorst, Tristan's father.

Like any kid at that age, nothing is music to your ears more than hearing the ice cream truck pass by your home on a hot summer day. It was the last day of school for Tristan.

When Tristan ran outside, his vision was blocked because of the size of the ice cream truck. "As he rounded back in front of the ice cream truck, a young driver went around the ice cream truck and struck our son," said Christi Carrano, Tristan's mother.

Carrano said a 17-year-old driver was behind the wheel. She says the teen stayed on the scene and was visibly regretful and upset after the incident. Carrano said she forgave the driver and wanted nothing but the best for them.

The ice cream truck driver told Tristan's parents they did not put out the stop sign arm since it was still daylight. That is the change they are hoping to make so this does not happen to any other children.

"We're advocating for those signs on trucks to be engaged and in this case to say 'stop, if safe, then go' or some similar language so that cars approaching are aware there will be children crossing or that they must slow or stop their vehicles," added Carrano.

The bill would also penalize drivers who violate these new regulations once passed.

The Transportation Committee approved the bill Wednesday. On that committee was Democrat State Senator Will Haskell who hoped to get this bill pass before the summer.

"We believe hopefully it could be called for a vote as soon as early April. That way we are given plenty of time for ice cream truck operators to purchase the necessary equipment and adjust their practices to be in line with the letter of the law," said Sen. Haskell of Westport.

The bill will need to be voted on in the Senate and House of Representatives and eventually signed by Governor Lamont.

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