” I don’t know what to say. Yesterday I was just with him and then today,” says Olivia Sanchez, victim’s friend.
Tears, disbelief and sadness have gripped a community in Palmdale.
A school bus filled with kids plowed into a young man on a bicycle at a remote intersection.
You can see the bicycle lodged under the bus.
The California Highway Patrol says 18 year old Michael Valenzuela was killed.
He had just finished his first day of work at a local supermarket and was heading to a park to play soccer.
“He was a good kid. Good guy. We called him the baby because he was the youngest one in the group and “Speedy” because he loved running,” says Marco Ibarra, victim’s friend.
“He was my friend. And he helped me out with my soccer team. And he was going to help me out next season too,” Sanchez adds,
Valenzuela was in ROTC. He also loved running track, cross country and playing soccer.
His friends say he was a responsible young man.
So what went so terribly wrong when his bicycle and the school bus approached the intersection at the same time?
This is East Avenue R and 55th Street.
There are no traffic lights, only stop signs on either side of 55th.
Valenzuela was traveling along 55th.
The bus was rolling along Avenue R.
” I don’t know exactly what happened, but he pulled out in front of a school bus that was filled with children and he suffered fatal injury from the collision,” according to Sgt. Tom Lackey, California Highway Patrol.
Witnesses tell us a woman driving a car had stopped to let Valenzuela cross the intersection.
They say the bus then passed her and slammed into the bicycle, dragging it several yards.
“I was like no no it can’t be Speedy! I got here. It was him,” Sanchez said.