8-year old boy taken off life support following Coto de Caza collision; 14th fatal OC bike crash this year

Ghost bikes come in children’s sizes, too.

We mentioned Friday that an eight-year old boy was seriously injured when he was struck by a pickup driver in Coto de Caza Thursday morning.

Now we’ve learned that the boy was taken off life support Saturday afternoon.

Eight-year old Bradley Rofer was walking his bicycle through a crosswalk on his way to school, with members of his family watching, when he was run down at 7:25 am.

He was rushed to Mission Hospital, where he underwent surgery.

Bradley was crossing Coto de Caza Drive at Oso Parkway when he was struck by the driver of an older Ford 150 pickup turning left from Oso onto Coto de Caza; it was his first day riding his bike to school.

This is how The Orange County Register described it.

It was supposed to be a fun day —  Bradley was going to ride his bike to school for the first time. He’d learned proper bike safety rules and would be wearing a helmet. His family would be watching and cheering him on. He was ready.

Eight-year-old Bradley Rofer was used to impressing people in his Coto de Caza neighborhood. Riding his bike solo, starting a business that raised money for children with cancer, reading a 300-page plus Harry Potter book at age 7 — those were normal things for the Wagon Wheel Elementary School student.

According to his mother, Bradley was doing everything right when he was hit, including wearing his bike helmet, which firefighters initially credited with preventing more serious injuries.

The driver, identified only as a 53-year old Tustin man, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. There’s no word on why he couldn’t see a boy walking his bike in a clearly marked crosswalk.

There was no crossing guard at the site when Bradley was struck, 20 minutes before children were expected at the school.

His mother broke the news on Facebook.

A crowdfunding campaign to assist with funeral costs and other expenses has raised over $23,000 of the $40,000 goal.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bradley Rofer and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to William Sellin for the heads-up. 


  1. Me says:

    The old bastard who hit him was obviously not paying attention. This kid was not darting out into the road. The driver should be shot dead

    • candice says:

      Please don’t be so quick to judge the driver. This is tragic for EVERYONE in involved, including the driver. Any of us who have ever driven a car has been guilty of looking away for a second or two. Maybe the son was in his eyes, you don’t know so don’t be so harsh!

    • JosettE Rofer says:

      I am the mother of Bradley. The driver made a horrible accident. He is a father, a grandfather, and I know with out a doubt if he could have changed a moment in that morning he would have. I pray for him and his family, and I truly believes he is praying for us.

  2. ValleyBall1 says:

    Such a tragedy to have this young boy’s life – and family – cut down by this senseless act! I was at that intersection a few minutes after Bradley was hit and saw the paramedics load him into the ambulance. I wonder where the crossing guard(s) were that day? I know there are typically at least one, if not two, at that intersection. I really really hope the driver wasn’t texting! As a cyclist in the area, I’ve had a number of encounters with texting drivers

    God bless Bradley and his family as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I used to be a Crossing Guard there. Making a left there, the sun is in the drivers eyes quite often which was brought to my Supervisor’s attention., Lots of close calls were reported but nothing was done.

    • ValleyBall1 says:

      @anonymous – you may want to reach out to Aron and/or Josette in the next few months and provide this information to them. Seems like it would help a case against “someone”…

  4. ValleyBall1 says:

    …and you’re absolutely right regarding the sun and the glare coming from that direction; drove that route this morning and the sun was indeed BRUTAL!

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