A 11-year-old boy who had just been dropped off near his Montclair middle school was hit and killed by a pickup truck Thursday morning, police said.
The boy was dropped off by a relative outside Vernon Middle School just before 8 a.m. and was walking to class when he was struck at the intersection of San Bernardino Street and Vernon Avenue, the Montclair Police Department said in a news release.
The victim, who authorities have not named, was walking within a marked crosswalk as a pickup simultaneously began to drive through the intersection, investigators said.
The truck ran into, and possibly over, the child, police said.
Footage from the scene showed the pickup involved was a large, black Chevrolet four-door that appeared to be equipped with four-wheel drive.
The boy suffered significant head injuries and was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
The truck’s driver immediately stopped and is cooperating with investigators, police said. Several witnesses have also spoken with officials.
Detectives have yet to determine what caused the crash.
According to police, a rumor was spreading around the school that the victim was fleeing an on-campus fight when he ran into traffic. But that narrative “has no basis in fact and has been disproved by numerous witnesses,” the Police Department said.
The victim was in seventh grade, Ontario-Montclair School District Superintendent James Q. Hammond said in a statement.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire OMSD community, our condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of our student,” Hammond wrote. “This is a difficult time for everyone, but I know our students and staff will lean on each other as they fondly remember their beloved classmate.”
Grief counselors and other support services were being provided to students, school staff and the victim’s family, Hammond said.
The superintendent urged students to walk in groups and practice other safety measures.