Bad news is just breaking two fronts.
KNBC-4 has just confirmed that a boy riding a bike was hit and killed by a school bus in Palmdale; an earlier CHP report places the collision at 3:54 pm at East Avenue R and 55th Street East. Reports are the victim died at a local hospital.
Adding to the tragedy, there were students onboard the bus at the time; fortunately, none were injured in the collision.
This is the 12th bicycling fatality so far this year, and the 7th in Los Angeles County.
Update: Despite earlier reports that the victim was a young boy, KNBC-4 now reports he is an 18-year old man.
Update 2: KTLA-5 has identified the victim as 18-year old Michael Valenzuela. who was attempting to cross the street when he was ht by the bus.
Update 3: The Antelope Valley Times reports that Valenzuela, a 2011 graduate of Pete Knight High School known to his friends as Speedy, was on his way to soccer practice after his first day of work at a nearby Vallarta Market. He was riding south on 55th Street East when he was hit by the bus traveling west on Avenue R at 45 mph.
Valenzuela reportedly stopped at the stop sign, then rode out directly into the path of the school bus; his destination was the park just across the street.
Tragically, he never got there.
Update 4: The L.A. Times reports a vigil will be held for Valenzuela at the scene of the collision at 8 pm tonight. An update to the A.V. Times story says the 54-year old driver attempted to swerve, but hit him in the center turn lane; his body was thrown 150 feet by the according to the L.A Times.
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the emotional impact this will undoubtedly have on the 47 grade school and middle school children on the bus who may have witnessed the collision and its aftermath.
Note: Earlier reports misspelled the victim’s name as Venezuela; I’ve corrected it here.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michael Valenzuela and all his family and friends.
In an unrelated case, I haven’t gotten any confirmation on this yet, so take it with a grain of salt.
According to a Reddit post, an 18-year old bike rider was involved in a hit-and-run around 5:30 am today on Oxnard at Bellaire in Valley Glen; the writer says the victim is currently on life support with no brain activity.
I’ve reached out to my contacts with the LAPD for confirmation, but no response yet.
Thanks to Erik Griswald for the heads-up.
Update: I’ve just received confirmation from the LAPD that a hit-and-run involving a cyclist did occur at Oxnard and Bellaire, although it actually occurred Sunday evening. You can read more here.