Just one day after news was released about the death of a 51-year old cyclist in Riverside County, another bike rider was killed on the streets of Southern California.
This time, a 7-year old boy on his way to visit his mother at her new job in Redondo Beach.
At 10:28 am, a truck driver was backing up in the loading dock area of the Albertson’s market at 2115 Artesia Blvd when something seemed wrong. Stopping his truck, the driver — who has not been publicly identified — got out to discover Jeremy Perez pinned under the truck along with his bike; a sandal and broken handlebars were still visible under the cab as police investigated the collision.
According to the Contra Costa Times, Jeremy most likely rode through a break in the parking lot wall that neighbors use a shortcut; his mother had begun working at the store just days before.
NBC-4 reports that police are reportedly investigating the death as an accident.
“For the family, for the community, for the business here, for the truck driver, everybody involved,” said Sgt. Shawn Freeman of the Redondo Beach Police Dept. “It’s a tragic accident so we want to get the best and most complete investigation we can.”
In almost every collision, someone is at fault. Someone breaks the law or operates their vehicle carelessly. A driver may be drunk or distracted; a cyclist may blow through a light or ride without lights or on the wrong side of the road.
But on rare occasions, there’s no one to blame.
And this may be one of those cases.
It could be argued that the driver should have been more aware of what was behind his vehicle. But no one would expect a small child to be riding through a loading dock, and he would have been very hard to see through the mirrors of a large truck as it backed up.
It’s also hard to blame a small child for being in the wrong place. Few children have sufficient judgment to determine where they should and shouldn’t ride. That’s what parents and guardians are for; unfortunately, Jeremy’s mother was at work, and there’s no information available on who was, or should have been, watching him.
Ultimately, whatever blame there may be may lie with the property owner, who should have been aware of the damage to the surrounding wall that apparently allowed Jeremy and others to cut through the loading area.
In the end, this is a just heartbreaking tragedy.
And one that will devastate everyone involved for years to come.
Thanks to Vic for the heads-up.
This is the 16th confirmed traffic-related bicycling fatality in Los Angeles County so far this year, and the 45th in Southern California since January 1st. It’s also the second bike fatality in Redondo Beach this year.