Police blame the victim after 18-year old Raider Magallanes killed in Signal Hill bicycling collision last week — even though witnesses contradict them

Nothing like blaming the victim.

A Long Beach boy was killed riding his bike in Signal Hill last week, and the local police were quick to blame him for his own death.

Maybe too quick.

According to the Long Beach Post, 18-year old Raider Magallanes was training with a couple friends around 7:35 pm on Tuesday, June 18th when he “collided into a moving vehicle” at Cherry Ave and Skyline Drive.

There’s no word on whether Magallanes died at the scene, or after being taken to a hospital after the crash.

And yes, the driver stuck around afterwards, as required by law and basic human decency.

Signal Hill police determined that the recent high school graduate ran the red light after descending a steep hill while headed west on Skyline Drive, apparently based on a security cam from a nearby grocery store.

However, according to Velina Velasquez, the boy’s aunt and legal guardian, numerous witnesses have come forward to say Magallanes — not the driver — had the green light. And that the traffic lights couldn’t be seen in the video that captured the crash.

Which raises the question of whether there were any independent witnesses who told police Magallanes ran the red light. Or if they just took the driver’s word for it.

Magallanes had graduated with honors from Long Beach Polytechnic High School just five days before the crash, and was training with friends in anticipation of joining the Marines in August.

His aunt adopted Magallanes and his two brothers when he was eight years old, and raised him as her own.

Velasquez has stayed near the intersection for the past week, talking with anyone who may have seen the crash. During that time, she’s witnessed several near-misses, along with a hit-and-run, and says more needs to be done to improve safety.

“There needs to be a camera here, there should have been a camera here,” Velasquez said.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised less than $7,000 of the $30,000 goal.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Magallanes’ death came just four days after another fatal bicycling collision less than four miles away in Long Beach.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raider Magallanes and all his loved ones.

4 comments

  1. H says:

    Thank you for taking the time on reporting this incident to bring awareness. Rip raider.

  2. K.Miller says:

    My deepest Condolences to the Family. Hopefully more can be done to make that section safer for others in the future.

  3. Jeffrey E Pyott says:

    If they have camera footage with a time stamp on it… provided that’s accurate then they should be able to pull the traffic light sequence to match the video.

  4. J.Pyott says:

    If they have camera footage with a time stamp on it… provided that’s accurate then they should be able to pull the traffic light sequence to match the video.

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