Police Departments Pass Out Free Skateboard Helmets Ahead of New State Law

A new state law aimed requiring children under the age of 15 to wear helmets on skateboards and roller blades takes effect this fall.

It has been dubbed “Conor’s Law” in memory of the 14-year-old Ledyard High School student who died after a skateboarding accident in 2016.

Conor’s mother Holly Irwin still gets emotional talking about her son.

“My son was 6-foot-1, 147 pounds when he passed away and one of the fastest cross country runners in the state of Connecticut,” she said, fighting back tears on Monday afternoon.

Since losing her son, Conor’s mother has been on a mission to keep children safe. She goes around to skate shops in the region urging children to purchase the proper protective headgear.

“I knew what she was going through how hard it is to not be able to protect your children,” State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) said, “so this for me rose to that level of needing to get all the way through the General Assembly.”

Osten introduced the legislation that Holly Irwin urged lawmakers to pass in Conor’s memory last spring.

“She’s saving many lives,” said Kathy Zinno Hosley of Ledyard. “No mother wants to go through what she went through, I just pray everyone gets these helmets and abides by the law.”

The Mashantucket Pequot tribe has donated 75 helmets to be distributed for free by the Ledyard, Montville and Norwich Police Departments.

“Any child that is saved just one that is saved, she’s done her job,” said Hosley, who brought her son to pick up a new helmet at the Ledyard Police Department. “Conor is looking down on her and is smiling and he’s very proud of his mother for doing this.”

The new youth helmet law takes effect in the state on October 1.

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