Update: Teenage bike rider killed by alleged speeding driver in San Fernando Valley Easter Sunday

Tragic news, from what should have been a joyous day.

Word broke this morning that a 15-year old bike rider was killed in a collision in the San Fernando Valley on Easter Sunday.

A GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral expenses reports that Reseda High School student Sebastian Montero was struck head-on by a speeding driver at the intersection of De Soto and Burbank.

No time of the crash, or any other information is available at this time.

There are two intersections for De Soto and Burbank, as the street jumps a block north before continuing; no word yet on exactly which one the crash occurred on. However, there appears to be bike lanes on either side of De Soto.

Hopefully we’ll have more information soon.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California, and the sixth in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.

A ghost bike will be installed at 9 pm tonight.

Update: According to a source with the LAPD, the crash took place at the south intersection, directly in front of Kaiser Medical Center, as Montero was crossing De Soto headed east, where the crosswalk would be if one was painted. 

The driver reportedly shifted to the right lane, and accelerated through the intersection as soon as the light changed, catching Montero before he could get across the street.

No information yet on who may be at fault or any possible charges. 

Update 2: The Los Angeles Daily News says the crash occurred around 11:40 am Sunday. He died about an hour later after being taken to a local hospital.

Police are investigating the timing of the traffic light, as well as the speed of the driver. 

Montero was riding with a friend, who was unharmed. 

Photos from GoFundMe page

Photo by Steve

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sebastian Montero and all his family and friends.

Thanks to Steve and Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.


  1. Josh Cohen says:

    Right in front of a hospital too. What a senseless tragedy.

  2. Derek Jervowitz says:

    From what you are describing, the cyclist would be at fault. When you say “where a crosswalk would be if one was painted” you mean on the side of the intersection where there are clearly marked do not cross, use crosswalk signs. So the cyclist was riding the wrong way through the intersection (against traffic) and I’m not clear as to what “shifted to the right lane, and accelerated through the intersection as soon as the light changed” means but it sounds like he had the green and just accelerated quickly.

    • Laurie says:

      Are you for real? You know NOTHING but you’re quick to lay blame.

      • Bob Patterson says:

        He’s going off the updated information provided at the bottom of the article (from LAPD source)… which does seem to indicate the bicyclist is at fault. This is just based on the information provided at this time.

        I realize that bicyclists operate on that line between pedestrian and vehicle, but if the updated details are accurate then the cyclist was at fault. As a pedestrian he would be “crossing” where not permitted, as a vehicle he would be “driving” on the wrong side of the road. Again, IF THE UPDATED DETAILS ARE ACCURATE.

        • Ralph says:

          If you are in the intersection you have right of way until you clear the intersection. Sounds like the driver didn’t make sure that the intersection was clear before entering That should be his error not the cyclist.

    • bikinginla says:

      You may be right. However, as Bob’s comment notes, let’s bear in mind that this is preliminary information, and that the investigation is not complete. Let’s also bear in mind that we’re talking about a 15-year old kid here, so show a little compassion.

      As for the driver’s actions, my interpretation is that the driver made a sudden lane change, and accelerated through the light as soon at it changed. As we should all be aware, motorists are required to wait until the intersection is clear before going through on the green, which does not appear to have happened in this case. It sounds like the driver either failed to see the victim directly in front of him, or tried — and failed — to go around him.

      Sounds to me like there may be plenty of blame to go around. But only the actions of the driver posed a risk to others on the road. And only the driver took the life of another human being.

  3. JJD says:

    We lift up in prayer the family and friends of young Mr. Montero.

  4. Matthew Robertson says:

    I work at that Kaiser. Even though I do century bike rides, I would never ride on that bike lane as it is narrow, most of the bike lane’s width is in the gutter, and drivers generally are driving 50 to 60 mph on De Soto and they weave into the bike lane as a matter of course. This was a senseless tragedy and my heart and prayers go to his family.

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