Family Who Lost Son in Tragic Crash Pushes for Law to Make Ice Cream Trucks Safer

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A Connecticut family is hoping to turn heartbreak into action. Their 10-year-old son was struck and killed by a car after getting ice cream. A new bill would require ice cream trucks to alert drivers that children are nearby.

“He was the most compassionate, giving, thoughtful, sweet soul,” said Christi Carrano, Tristan Barhorst’s mom.

In every picture, at any moment, 10-year-old Tristan was always smiling. His mom says he had so much more to give.

“He was always positive and encouraging. He was a gift,” said Carrano.

Last summer she says Tristan and several other kids ran to get ice cream when they heard the ice cream truck rolling through the Cheshire neighborhood. Parents were watching nearby.

“My son was the first one to purchase his ice cream, and as he was crossing back, he got struck. A teenage driver who passed around the ice cream truck, not recognizing that children would be crossing,” said Carrano.

Just two months shy of his 11th birthday, Tristan was killed.

Not wanting another family to feel their devastation, Tristan’s parents began advocating.

“I just truly believe that that made a big difference in getting this push through was the advocacy of the Carrano family,” said Sen. Paul Cicarella (R - District 34).

A proposed bill would require vehicles that sell ice cream be equipped with a traffic signal and use it when stopped and selling ice cream. Other drivers would need to stop completely before passing the ice cream truck, and ice cream could only be sold when the truck is facing away from the travel lane of the roadway.

“Probably under $500 you could get the lights, the arm that swings out in front, as well as that stop sign when you put it in park,” said Cicarella.

Cicarella proposed the bill and says what happened to Tristan isn’t an isolated incident. He adds that most trucks already have the equipment needed.

“They just didn’t have the mandates to use them, and when approached with the police asking ‘Why weren’t they on?’ ‘We didn’t know we had to use it. It wasn’t dark,’” said Cicarella.

Cicarella says the bill has already passed out of committee and that they’d like to honor Tristan by calling it Tristan’s Law.

“He was always helping other and thinking of others when he was here, so to think that he would have that legacy of continuing to protect others in his passing would be amazing,” said Carrano.

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