Update: 13-year old bike rider killed in Santa Ana crosswalk

Every traffic death is tragic, but some hit a little harder than others.

Especially when it involves a child riding her bike.

According to multiple sources, a 13-year old girl was killed in a collision with a truck belonging to the Santa Ana Unified School District this morning.

The collision occurred between 7:45 and 7:50 am at the intersection of West Edinger Avenue and South Center Street in Santa Ana, as the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike in the crosswalk.

She suffered major head and chest injuries, and died at the scene, despite the efforts of emergency personnel. The driver was reportedly extremely distraught and remained at the scene to cooperate with investigators.

A report from KTLA-5 says the victim was an eighth grader at Spurgeon Intermediate School, despite the presence of two other schools at that corner. No word on whether she may have been attending summer classes or participating in some other activity at either school.

The station also reports that the truck was making right turn from Center Street onto Edinger when he hit the girl on her bike.

Judging by photos from the scene, as well as a satellite view, it appears the truck was headed south on Center, attempting to turn west onto Edinger. Most likely, the driver was looking left towards oncoming traffic and did not see the girl ride off the sidewalk to his right and into the crosswalk; however there could be other possibilities, as well.

Her bike was still lodged under the truck after the driver stopped some distance from the intersection. Up to 100 people were gathered at the intersection following the crash, according to the Orange County Register, many crying as they sat on the curbs.

This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in Orange County; that compares with 11 in the county this time last year. It’s also the 2nd bicycling death in Santa Ana in the last two months; the other victim was also killed while riding in a crosswalk.

Update: KNBC-4 has identified the victim as Priscilla Vallejo. According to the station, she was not on her way to summer school, and would have entered 8th grade in the fall.

Friends described her as a jokester who was fun to be around. 

Sadly, her mother arrived just after she was pronounced dead. No parent should ever have to see their child like that.

Update 2: The Orange County Register has corrected Vallejo’s age as 13, not 14, as originally reported; she would have turned 14 this Friday.

Update 3: Not surprisingly, the driver won’t be cited or charged in this collision; Santa Ana police say it’s just a tragedy. After all, no driver could be expected to actually look where he’s going before turning right, right?

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Priscilla Vallejo and all her loved ones.

8 comments

  1. Joshua Cohen says:

    Ugh. As a dad, just reading this breaks my heart.

  2. mwandaw says:

    This is about as sad as it gets. Rest in peace, young lady, and our sympathies to the family and friends.

  3. dangerd says:

    Too bad.
    No right on red = problem solved.

    There are many easy solutions to our traffic safety problems but nobody ever seems to implement them.

    • bikinginla says:

      Hopefully Vision Zero will change that, as it will force us to change or abandon it.

      But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It seems obvious that the driver was turning right on a red. but it’s possible he may have had the light.

      • Ralph says:

        There are no rights on red lights where I now live in Germany. They seem to survive with out them.

        A tragic and senseless killing. Best wishes to the family and her friends.

  4. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the young lady.

  5. goldy says:

    I read all your links and push myself to contribute Morr meaningfully then I might to just say the other crosswalk death had you noted had no info but just assumption the heavy, absurdly so lethal wheeled contraption had a human operating it- versus here where our taxes created both lure and rod, unspared, in the person slain going to where the box truck was purchased for, not to stop her dead in the pedestrian tracks we also paid for for her to think safe to use but actually to kill her for trying.
    When we know it was not safe for such a truck to travel at specified speeds we let there be a crosswalk there because that would leave more money for more cars to be sold and driven elsewhere as well to kill more kids in. We believed there that small people need huge trucks to go right onto there campus as we ask the students to sit by tiny desks and eat tiny teeny tiny fried tater tots perhaps brought by such monstrously hollow rectangular labor savers- carrying many many many mules of taters for barely tots with just one big adult person driving but paid as just one albeit human mule not clearly fit to perhaps even responsibly operate or feed there body less then lethaly but driving over and over until finally one less mouth driven over not just to feed.

    So I do think this is no less wrong then all unbridged roads, then all the car bridges that cost much more then pedestrian ones not built despite nobody needing them to to survive.

    We paint lines to kill kids in so when we kill them outside of those lines then it is not such a big deal, then the kid really was asking for it. We paint lines to kill kids in instead of providing schools safe for them to get to. We hire guards to protect us from killing kids between lines but keep killing kids between other lines because kids will be kids and we like it that we kill them for that reason.

    To the children who knew the kid we killed I ask them to not kill kids when it is there time to do so, nor to accept prior to then we must possibly kill more of them between the lines because we insist we so want to we must.

    I ask them to consider that them not being killed between the lines will require they stop letting us budget for such killing between the lines and lines of lanes versus mere lines for the cars driven down lanes to kill kids between the lines on.

    I ask them to trust us that they will be OK if all they do is stop us from killing them and learn nothing else of value, and no matter what grades they get or future income to kill more kids they fail to earn they will not regret it because they will not be killing kids like we do for having not been killed before we too could or not killed but did, and only regretted it not enough to not stop killing kids until they did.

    Amen

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