PALMDALE, Calif. (KTLA) — A Palmdale community is remembering an 18-year-old after he was struck and killed by a school bus full of children while riding his bicycle.
As his family and friends look for answers, police continue to investigate exactly how it all happened.
The crash took place around 3:45 p.m. Monday at Michael Valenzuela was riding his bicycle near 55th Street East and Avenue R.
Authorities said Valenzuela was trying to cross the street when he was hit by the bus, which was heading westbound on Avenue R, and dragged for several yards.
The bus was carrying 47 kindergarten through eighth graders. No one on board the bus was injured.
Valenzuela, nicknamed “Speedy” because he loved running cross-county and track, was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
The Pete Knight High School graduate had just completed his first day on his new job. Friends said they are in absolute shock.
“He was a good kid, a good guy,” said friend Marco Ibarra. “We called him the baby of the group because he was the youngest one of us. Speedy — he loved running.
“He was my friend, he helped me out with my soccer team,” Olivia Sanchez said. “He was gonna help me out next season too.”
The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.
Residents say the intersection has been an accident waiting to happen. It has a stop signs going north and south, but none east and west.
A vigil is planned for Valenzuela at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection where the accident happened.