Update: 18-year old bike rider killed in Palmdale; 2nd rider reported critically injured in Valley Glen

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.

A commenter below says the victim was s friend of her son, and that the intersection, with just a stop sign on the cross street, was the scene of frequent collisions.

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


  1. Butterfly says:

    Something always happens at that intersection. I’m afraid to drive or even sllow my own teenagers to drive past it. It’s corner in front of a public park it has a cross walk and you would think they’d put a light there just because if its location. since i moved here 7 years ago i’ve driven past atleast two accidents a month. theres a hirrible blind spot.. my heart and prayers are with Michael and his family he was a close friend to my son. however its unfornate for me to think that maybe now the city will finally put a light in that intersection.but really a life to late .. RIP

  2. Linda says:

    Yes, the hit and run did happen yesterday at Oxnard & Bellaire in Valley Glen. I was 2 cars behind the SUV that hit the boy.

  3. Orion says:

    There are so many fatalities at that intersection! The city must consider new traficing procedures at 55th and R. My good friend Michael was another victim.

    • anthony says:

      I went to the accident site.very dangerous cross walk its a long way. They should install a red light or stop signs at both directions.with cross walk lights. Cars traveling at 1030pm were flying pass us faster than 55mphr. We were there installing a ghost bike for speedy n cars were just speeding buy even though there was 4 of us in the corner. And that school bus full of kids should not b allowed to travel that fast on public streets. I cannot understand how in the world he would not z him crossing the street its open space no blind spots. That driver should b fired n not allowed to drive anymore it goes for everybody that hits a bike rider or pedestrian there license should b pulled if found they were. At fault even if it was a 50percent possibility that the driver was at fault. Speedy seemed that he was loved buy many people of all the ghost bikes that I’ve put up that has being one of the biggest vigil set up. May he rest in peace n may the lord be wid his famally at this terrible time of pain. But I know he’s up wid the lord at his side. God bless the Valenzuela famally. From. The Anthony jr. Martinez (RIP 11.24.2011) Ride of Silence famally.

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