More bad news in what is turning out to be a horrible week for SoCal cyclists.
The Montrose-La Crescenta Patch is reporting that a 14-year boy was killed this afternoon when he was hit by a school bus.
The victim was riding his bike on the sidewalk around 2 pm when he was hit by the northbound bus at the intersection of Riverdale Drive and Columbus Ave, presumably when he attempted to cross the street.
The bus reportedly hit him at a slow rate of speed, pinning him underneath. He was pronounced dead at Glendale Memorial Hospital about an hour later.
The site reports his mother has been notified, but the victim’s name does not appear to have been released. He was a student at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Glendale.
This is the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County — half the total for the entire seven county region.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his family and friends.
Thanks to Stephen Messer for the heads-up.
Update: The Glendale News-Press reports the victim was riding west on the sidewalk on the south side of Riverdale when he entered the intersection against traffic, and was struck by the bus headed north on Columbus.
Witnesses said he was riding at a high rate of speed, which suggests he did not stop at the cross street, despite the four-way stop. The driver, who would have been looking in the opposite direction towards oncoming traffic, told police he never saw the boy coming.
Another tragic reminder that riding on a sidewalk is far more dangerous than it may seem.
Update 2: KNBC-4 says that the victim was a 7th grade student, but that it isn’t clear if he attended the nearby Theodore Roosevelt Middle School. Thanks to gomerzed for the link.
Update 3: According to the Daily News, there were no passengers on the bus at the time of the collision.
Update 4: The Glendale News-Press identifies the victim as 13-year old Roosevelt Middle School student Jonathan Hernandez; Glendale police had initially said he was 14.
Reading between the lines, it would appear this collision occurred when the rider came off the sidewalk onto the street in front of the bus. The driver was likely focused on oncoming traffic, and may have pulled forward without looking directly ahead or to the right. Even if the driver had looked right earlier, she may not have seen the victim given the speed witnesses said he was riding.
Whether or not this tragedy could have been avoided with more care on the driver’s part is debatable.
What is not debatable is that this was a slow speed collision, and was only fatal because the victim became trapped under the bus. If school buses and other large buses and trucks were required to have safety panels to keep victims from falling underneath in the event of a collision, this tragedy might never have happened.