Teen hit by school bus dies from injuries

A teen was thrown from his bicycle after being struck by a bus Monday afternoon. The bike itself was pinned under the school bus and dragged for several yards.

A teen was thrown from his bicycle after being struck by a school bus Monday afternoon. The bike itself was pinned under the bus after the collision.

PALMDALE – A teenager riding his bicycle to soccer practice Monday afternoon was struck and killed by a school bus in a Palmdale intersection.

The fatal collision happened around 3:54 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Avenue R and 55th Street East, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Gil Hernandez.

The incident happened at the intersection of Avenue R and 55th Street East.

The incident happened at the intersection of Avenue R and 55th Street East.

A school bus filled with students was traveling westbound on Avenue R, at approximately 45 miles per hour, while a bicyclist was traveling southbound on 55th Street East, Hernandez said.

“The bicyclist came to a complete stop at the posted stop sign at the intersection then proceeded through the intersection directly into the path of the school bus,” Hernandez said.

The teen was thrown from his bicycle onto the roadway and sustained severe injuries, Hernandez said. He was transported to a local hospital where he died a short time later.

The victim was a recent graduate of Pete Knight High School, and he had been riding his bicycle to soccer practice at Domenic Massari Park, according to his close friend and soccer teammate Daniel Yepez.

“He was pretty much a brother to all of us, I’m just so shaken up,” Yepez said through tears.

“He was a fast soccer player, like a prodigy,” said friend Ivan Vera. “He’d always do everything he could for his friends. It sucks to lose somebody that young.”

Many soccer players grieved  at the scene.

Many local soccer players grieved at the scene.

Many soccer players gathered at the collision scene Monday afternoon to mourn the death of their teammate, whom they said was nicknamed “Speedy” for his agility on the field.

Nearby residents said they were not surprised to hear about the collision.

“There’s always an accident right here on the street by the park where the kids play, because they cross the street all the time,” said Harman Everett.  “They need a light here or a crossing guard in the daytime for these kids.”

Everett said he’d personally witnessed at least five accidents in the area in this past year alone.

The school bus that struck the teen had been carrying about 47 students home from Los Amigos Junior High School, according to a school official at the scene. Some of the students were released to their parents and others were transferred to another waiting school bus.

The collision remains under investigation.

Updated 3/26/13: The victim has been identified as 18-year-old Michael J. Valenzuela of Palmdale, according to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office.

A press report issued by the California Highway Patrol late Monday night put the 54-year-old female bus driver’s speed at about 50 miles per hour. The bus driver swerved left to avoid the collision with the bicycle, but ended up striking the bicycle in the left turn lane of eastbound Avenue R, according to the CHP report.

Updated 3/26/13: A previous version of this story, stated that Valenzuela was coming from his first day of work at Vallarta Supermarket. However, family members at a vigil Tuesday night said Valenzuela was actually coming from a job interview at the store and had not yet started working there. 

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  63 comments for “Teen hit by school bus dies from injuries

  1. caitlyn
    September 2, 2013 at 10:17 am

    @ Ga Boy
    You are by far one of the sickest people involved in this situation, there is no need for you to make it worse than it is, Michael knew where he was crossing and knew when he was crossing which was in fact after a car let him cross and this idiot bus driver who was driving at 55 BEHIND a stopped car realized she could not stop in time so she swerved around the car letting Michael go and she apparently tried to swerve to the left to avoid him but you know what she still hit him while SHE was in the wrong lane, why would she proceed to drive straight in the turn lane? At such speed as well. She should have slowed down while approaching the stopped car and stopped, which I’m positive is what that car and Michael expected, but instead she didn’t slow to stop, she went around and hit Michael, the most important guy in my life, I loved him, and she killed him. She didn’t even stop until about 280 feet after the intersection.
    And what about the emergency services? In such a fatal accident they should not care what hospital to take him to, they drove all the way to AV hospital, of course he wouldn’t have made it. Why didn’t he get a helicopter? Why are all these other injured people getting a helicopter ride to safety? But they couldn’t even take him to a closer hospital…. none of us got to say good bye.

  2. MS
    March 28, 2013 at 11:19 am

    So very sad to read of the loss of this young man. May “the God of all comfort” (2 Corin. 1:3) be with all those who are suffering this pain.

    • hannah
      March 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      im so shocked snd sad cuz well he was like a brother to me cuz i knew him and i used to play soccer with him and he would always support me when im at my soccer game and he would be there for everyone and like he was just a really really really really good, nice, sweet, funny, and supporting guy and like its just to hard to see him go.

      • hannah
        March 28, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        i hope he knows that we all miss him and i just wanna say that even if it was the bus drivers fault or my friends fault drivers have to pay attention and follow the rules and that my opinion is that it was the bus drivers fault cuz she should not be going past the speed limit next to a park cuz what if that was a mother with her baby and the buzs driver still did that its just not right and speedy was just 18 he was young and it was very hard for me to hear this cuz i saw him that very day when i was facetimeing him cuz i used to live in lancaster but i went to palmdale to play soccer with my friends and him and it is very hard cuz i now live in arizona and to hear that from a friend all the way to here its just to hard and i wanna say that “WE ALL MISS U SPEEDY AND WE WILL NEVER FORGET U ” and for my birthday i dont want any gifts i just wanna donate all the money i have in my piggy bak to ur family and im just saying that cuz i hope that other people will do that and send it to domenic massari park and try to give it to jackie or anyone who will be there at the pavillion where the petiton will be so i hope that everybody will pray for the vallenzuela family and say to god to take care of micheal {speeedy} vallenzuela and find out more on http://www.pysl.com and see the poster that the board members made for micheal j. vallenzuela or as i called him {SPEEDY}

        • Hannah sS.
          March 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm

          i mean not facetimeing cuz my frind was actually hanging out with him but i saw a picture of him from the candlelighting held on 55th street where the accident happened

          • Jackie
            March 29, 2013 at 6:29 am

            Awe Hannah!!! We miss you guys and wish we were all together right now. Please give your sister and brother a hug from us and know we are thinking of you guys. I’m sorry your so far away right now! Love from all of us especially Emma ;) keep smiling Michael wouldn’t want you to cry. Love you

        • Garrett
          April 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

          I just have to point out one thing. I live right next to the park where this accident happened. The speed limit is 55 right there. There have been a lot of car accidents at that intersection. It also needs a stop light.

  3. dee
    March 27, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Los Amigos Jr High? So glad I got out of Palmfale

    • dee
      March 27, 2013 at 6:19 am

      Palmdale……………………

  4. Vanessa
    March 26, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Michael was a great young man,and a spectacular soccer player.Rest in paradise Speedy.You will be truly missed and never forgotten.RIP

  5. Eva
    March 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I just had the opportunity to meet Michael’s mom at his vigil. My heart breaks for her and all I could do was give her a hug. I couldn’t even express myself. I have three children of my own so I felt we needed to go and pay our respects. The city needs to put a light at this intersection! Prayers to the family.

    • Eva
      March 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Dr. Mayor Ledford,
      If you are reading this, please consider postponing the purchase new city vehicles and make those funds available to paying for safety lights to protect our children and our community. I’m sure that if my car is still running with 182K miles on it, your city trucks can go a few thousand more. What’s more important? Shiny new trucks, or a safe community?

      Sincerely yours,
      Eva

  6. Jackie
    March 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Hello again,
    There will be an actual paper petition at the park on Saturday. I need as many people to sign as we can get so we can show the city we are sick of this, the web one is good but if they have actual papers they can’t deny nor say its forged especially if its people of voting age!! Please come sign and let’s get this going.

    • R. garcia
      March 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

      How can we get a copy of your paper petition? I am sure parents at Los Amigos (I am one of them) would very much like to sign a copy and I can help w/ signatures from my neighbors. Also, many of the teen friends can assist in spreading the word through social media. Although, I heard that the City is already working on the traffic lights thanks to receiving a grant. I still think something in writting or online is a gesture that the community wants to make things happen. (:

      Respectfully,

      Rosalinda G.

      • Jackie
        March 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        Thank you for asking. We will be at the park on Saturday by the basketball courts. I am sure I can meet with you and pass along a copy or even go to Los amigos and drop one off. Let me know what you would like to do.

  7. Rdg
    March 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Hello!

    I’ve started the petition “City Of Palmdale: No More Accidents: Traffic light at intersection of 65th & R” and need your help to get it off the ground.

    Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/city-of-palmdale-no-more-accidents-traffic-light-at-inters ection-of-65th-r

    Here’s why it’s important:

    A young man died after being struck by a school bus, he was riding his bicycle to soccer practice Monday afternoon. Countless accidents and near accidents happen here yearly. It is time this stops.

  8. R. Garcia
    March 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    The next city council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 at 7 pm in the City Council Chamber, 38300 Sierra Highway, Suite ‘B’.

    Let’s begin by e-mailing the mayor directly at:

    jledford@cityofpalmdale.org

    “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”- The Palmdale community must make things happen!

  9. ed
    March 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I even avoid this intersection for this same reason this should be a four way stop, its pretty obvious…but instead people see you trying to get across and they speed up just so you don’t, its sad to see this happen.

  10. mint n chip
    March 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    So very sad! I have always wondered why, WHY, was there not a stop light ever put at this intersection???!!! It makes no sense! Its right next to the park, for crying out loud!!! There is one down at the next intersection at 60th street but its not anywhere near as busy with pedestrians as the one this poor young man was killed at! This is just so very sad :( Im sure there will be one put up now. Why does it take a tragedy like this to get lights up where they are truly needed!!!!!!?????? Any where near a park or school…every intersection around the parks and schools….that is where the city NEEDS to have stoplights at…period!!
    Prayers for comfort go out from my heart to all the family and everyone touched by this tragedy.

    • mint n chip
      March 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      …traffic lights, stop lights, signal lights….you all know what I mean. I hope the city takes heed along with all the other comments about this intersection and other ones like it. Its too sad when things like these happen. The city is worried about $$$…LIVES ARE MORE IMPORTANT. Come on!!

  11. Liteisha
    March 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

    My condolences to the family…… I’m praying for them to have peace in their hearts, knowing that this young man was a positive rolemodle…. My heart goes out to school bus driver as well, cause she have to deal with this in her on way….. I hope that she can overcome this tragedy as well as the family…..rip Michael V…..

  12. Palmdale_Diego
    March 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Very sad that this young man was killed. That said, does anyone remember the old adage: “look both ways before crossing the street”? Parents should tell/remind, even nag at children (of any age) to remember this.

    • Jackie
      March 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      There is no mention of the car that stopped to let him cross, or that he was tying his shoe on the other side of the street and the car waited for him, that he still hesitated before he crossed. He did what we tell our kids to do and was very cautious according to the driver of the car. The bus is said to have swerved to miss Michael but from why the driver has stated the bus swerved around her and went onto the wrong side of the road. What in the world would a bus be going 50 mph by a park! The driver of the car was there most of the evening telling everyone what happened trying to extend help to the family, where is the report on that?

      • Kaka
        March 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        The bus driver was being careless carrying a bus full of kids. He swerve around this car going 55mph, way over the speed limit. There was no way it was Michael’s fault, he did everything right.

        • Ga Bou
          March 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

          Wrong wrong get your facts straight, this driver has been cleared , NO FAULT of the driver,find a way to appoligse to this driver shame on you

          • redprieste
            March 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm

            WTH are you the bus driver???? trying to clear your conscious??? get out of here, let Michael’s family see this they will probably rip you a new one!!! or are you a co-worker trying to protect her?…a family member or a friend??? ….ARE YOU GOD???? DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE WHAT HAPPENED!???..there are witnesses and their stories sound consistant yours however is NOT or even creditable….she may have been cleared of no alcohol or drugs in het system… BUT SHE IS NOT CLEARED OF NOT PAYING ATTENTION!!! DAMN, SHE HAD A BUS FULL OF KIDS AND SHE SHOULD OF BEEN WATCHING THE ROAD!! AND WHEN A CAR IS STOPPED IN FRONT OF HER SHE IS TO STOP!!!! she drives a school bus she knew she was to stop safely!

          • Kaka
            March 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm

            Shame on me? Shame on you. Provide me the facts. He went into the wrong side of the road and hit him, that is the most believable story with several eyewitnesses and the police public report

          • Ga Bou
            March 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

            No I am NOT the driver I am doing just what you are speaking my concerns, that driver was only doing their job, it is bad enough the driver has to live for the rest of their life with this ,and the boys family has to live with a loss. Leave the blame game alone and I will not have to respond…. Never claimed to be God, but yes I do know that this driver was found cleared of ANY WRONG doing, as far as the family ripping me a new on why don’t YOU let them decide that, you have no right speaking on their behalf. Go get your bus drivers certificate and tell me how you did….. Get your facts straight….. And have a blessed day :) :)

      • lou
        March 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm

        there is no report cause some people are trying to protect this careless moron bus driver who is at fault….obviously was NOT paying attention! More than likely was looking in the rear view mirror yelling at the kids to quit screaming and to sit in their seats!….then when she finally looked at the road she saw the car IN FRONT OF HER letting Michael cross and it was a little to late she swearved went to the other side and hit speedy!!!!….why do some people try to deny this??? they weren’t even there!!

        • Ga Bou
          March 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm

          Moron? Are you speaking about yourself???? Try stopping you car let alone a bus in a short distance, get a grip on huge bus, small car all of whom has the same speed limits except on the freeways…. Shame on your comment

          • redprieste
            March 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm

            what you afraid your job may be on the line as well as you careless bus driver co-worker killer??….that is probably the only reason why your on this site to see what the community, family, and friends are saying… you a little paranoid there??….why so damn defensive??? hmmmm??….are you spying so you can run to her and tell her??…Are you Her??? shouldn’t you rather be crying or praying, or feeling devastated right now???…If you had a heart you would be ….how DARE you come on here an talk your BS only defendinf=g the bus driver. Where are your condolences??….SHOW SOME RESPECT! you are Pathetic!

          • CHarris
            March 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm

            This is vehicular manslaughter and with all those kids on board there will be some heavy charges no doubt about it

          • Ga Bou
            March 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

            Once again just being like you…..pathetic, no that’s you, and I do feel for that family you don’t know me to judge me, nor do you know that bus driver don’t throw rocks when you live in a glass house!!

          • redprieste
            March 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm

            Actually, I am a feeder driver! that means I drive a Semi for UPS have been driving for them for 18 yrs. Not once have I hit anything! and I drive from so cal to central cal every day!!! I stay focused and never have I had to slam on my brakes to make quick stops I pay attention.

          • Ga Bou
            March 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

            Congrats on your record, but god help you when you do happen to have an accident, I have been driving a big rig for 27 years and no accident, but if I do happen to have a bad one like this one, people need to STOP slamming and putting blame on other people, God has blessed me for Accident free and I just pray it stays that way……
            I also do cross country driving so I know what I’m saying God bless you for the rest of your driving career…..

      • Ga Bou
        March 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        Really, man where are you coming from?? The bus driver tried to avoid this child, as I see it the speed Limit is 55, she was only going 50 , that’s slower than the law allows, and I bet your one of those drivers who go by school zones a lot faster than 25, ????why do you do that…… Bottom line its a tragic,tragic accident,don’t place any blame on the driver.

        • sikntired
          March 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm

          A tragic event all around, at the end of the day please teach your kids to look both ways and not to cross if a vehicle is coming.Left, right and left again until the way is clear.And a bike is not going to beat a motor vehicle, ever.
          You can’t. always depend on a light either, cars have been known to blow right through.Teach your children to use their heads.

        • redprieste
          March 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm

          where you there????!!! only speak if you were there ! I was!! my friend walked up to Michael in the middle of the street! he was the first to see him lying there close up I stayed in the car with his 10 year old son. My friend was a FIRST RESPONDER and SAW THE WHOLE THING!!!! you more tan likely did NOT!! My friend directed traffic until sheriff and medics got there.

          • redprieste
            March 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

            I challenge you to drive there and look at the BIG SIGN it is 45 mph zone!!

          • Ga Bou
            March 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm

            Challenge completed guess what the sign just 10 feet from all those beautiful candles it is showing. 55 now what????

          • Sosuckitup
            March 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm

            For someone who was there you missed that speed limit sign??? Wow what else did you miss, or what did you hear from “my Friend”? Second hand crap?

  13. Priscilla
    March 26, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Very sad what happen can’t imagine what his family is going thru my prayers to the family! And yes we need to protest for a light stop there our children should be protected from careless drivers!

  14. Mimi
    March 26, 2013 at 7:20 am

    My condolences to the family , friends and team mates for their loss…. Its heart breaking…Someone mentioned a car wash, if there is an update on that, I would like to donate what I can to help for any funds needed…

  15. Jackie
    March 26, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Speedy was a great kid!!!! There will be a vigil tonight 3/26 at 8 pm in his honor, also a car wash is being worked on. There will also be a petition going around on Saturday to go to the next city council meeting to have the city put in a light. To many accidents happen here and now we have lost someone so special!!!
    My prayers go to his family and friends. Keep your angel wings watching over them Michael.

    • cat sanchez
      March 26, 2013 at 8:18 am

      My heart and prayers go out to Michaels family. He.s a very special man. He was like one of my kids. He helped me coach my daughters team last year since i didnt know what i was doing. He will always be remembered and hold a special place in my heart. If a light isnt installed because of this tragedy, then shame on the city of palmdale. We need to take care of our children.

    • Letlow
      March 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

      @Jackie, Is the vigil for Speedy at the same spot of the accident? I would like to come pay my respects for a fellow soccer player. RIP!

      • Jackie
        March 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

        Yea it will be on the corner of 55th and r. Please park in the parking lot of the park so we do not block traffic

  16. Esmeralda A
    March 26, 2013 at 1:54 am

    We the community need to go out to the city’s board and complaint about our concern for our children. My prayers go out to the family we love you speedy RIP

  17. Nelly
    March 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    How many more accidents have to happen for the city to take action, put a traffic light for God’s sake. Protect all the pedestrians, cars like to speed on ave. R.

  18. Rik C
    March 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I use the intersection on a daily basis and it is dangerous to cross. Sitting there on 55th cars pass me at speeds upwards of 55 or more.Waiting on a break to cross R can sometime be very lengthy.Sorry to see such a young life be a victim of inadequate street design. Prayers go out to the family.

  19. Naomi
    March 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    RIP Michael Valenzuela..

  20. Naomi
    March 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I agree with you Gina. It was stupid to add a light on 60th and R. I have have seen too many accidents on that intersection. We need a light by the park… I really hope the city listens

    • R. Garcia
      March 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      They placed a light on 60th & R after another car accident where my 17 year old almost got killed. He had to leap accross the street to miss the vehicles and came home extremely scared. The City will only listen if residents speak up. I sure did and made things happen. Don’t just post condolences, make things happen! This is very sad and my heart sank when I saw what happen because my son (now 18) had just crossed the same intersection on his way home!

  21. Curious George
    March 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I was there one of the first responders besides the woman who called 911. I directed traffic until sheriff and ambulance arrived….VERY VERY tragic and SAD….My thoughts and prayers go out to Family and Friends.

  22. Gabriel Flores
    March 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Very sad to have witnesed this scene!
    Im so sad he passed, hope his parents find the
    peace in their heart for their loss!

  23. Alicia Armas Castrellon
    March 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Very sad! Why do children have to die In order for the city of Palmdale to put in street lights!

    • Kat Castillo
      March 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      Yes!! It’s very sad to see this type of tragety very sad to see that our kids are not save to play out on the street my prayers go out to the family and may rest in peace!! Hopefully the city does something about it ASAP!! Put a light up make our street and city safe!!

  24. Gina C
    March 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Prayers for the family. This intersection is very dangerous not only for pedestrians but also vehicles. City of Palmdale should have placed a light at this intersection instead of placing a light at the corner of 60th & R.

    • Vivian
      March 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      Completely agree!!pretty foolish to place two lights back to back on rockie lane and 60th! When it’s this intersection that needs it the most! I’ve witnessed to many accidents there! Very sad and upset to hear this,may he rest in peace and my condolence to his family and loved ones.

      • Brianna
        March 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

        I live off of 62nd and Ave R and completely agree with you. Those were my exact thoughts when they were building those lights. I also send my condolences to his family.

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