Driver hits, injures two teens at deadly Palmdale intersection

The injury collision happened on Avenue R at the intersection of 55th Street East. (Photo by LUIS MEZA)

The injury collision happened on Avenue R at the intersection of 55th Street East. (Photo by LUIS MEZA)

PALMDALE – A 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were injured Saturday night when they were hit by a car while crossing a street in Palmdale, authorities said.

The collision happened around 7:35 p.m. Saturday on Avenue R at 55th Street East, the same intersection where an 18-year-old bicyclist was struck and killed by a school bus in March.

In Saturday’s incident, three pedestrians (whose names were withheld because they are minors) were crossing south in a marked crosswalk on Avenue R, on the western side of the intersection, according to Detective Jeff Perkins of the Palmdale Sheriff Station.

The youngsters had almost completely crossed the street when two of them were struck by a 1999 Chevy Corvette, Perkins stated.

The 13-year-old girl was transported to a local hospital with an injury to her leg, while the 14-year-old boy was airlifted to a Los Angeles hospital in critical condition. (Photo by LUIS MEZA)

The 13-year-old girl was transported to a local hospital, while the 14-year-old boy was airlifted to a Los Angeles hospital in critical condition. (Photo by LUIS MEZA)

The 14-year-old Palmdale boy suffered major trauma and was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles in critical condition.  The 13-year-old girl, a Panorama City resident, was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital Medical Center with a laceration to her right leg.

The Corvette’s driver, 55-year-old Rita Stillman of Palmdale, was not injured in the collision.

The incident remains under investigation by the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Traffic Detail.

The crash site is the same intersection where 18-year-old Michael Valenzuela was struck and killed on March 25.

Valenzuela was riding his bicycle southbound on 55th Street East, on his way to soccer practice, when he was struck by school bus filled with students that was traveling westbound on Avenue R. Valenzuela died a short time later at the hospital.

That collision prompted the Palmdale Youth Soccer League to petition the city of Palmdale to install a traffic light at the deadly intersection.

At the time, city officials said a plan was already in the works to install a traffic light, and the project should be completed in the spring of 2014.

Previous related stories:

CHP seeking witnesses in fatal school bus crash

Loved ones remember teen hit by school bus

Palmdale School District statement on fatal school bus crash

Teen hit by school bus dies from injuries

Editor’s note: As of Saturday night, the boy was in critical condition. However, we were unable to get the status of his condition Sunday morning. We will update this story with information as it becomes available. If you are a family member and are aware of the 14-year-old’s condition, please send an email to Thank you!

  33 comments for “Driver hits, injures two teens at deadly Palmdale intersection

  1. iveseenitall
    September 5, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I see a lot of bickering. Roads were made for cars. When peds ctoss, they seem to think they gained this force field bcuz they are in a crosswalk. 99.9% of vehicle vs ped accidents would be avoided if the peds would watch the cars all the way across the street. No blame intended, I wasn’t there.

    When they put a light there, another accident will happen at another intersection. Then you will all scream for another light and so on until your car can’t get up to 10mph without stopping

    As ffor traffic lights, do any of you know what it takes to actually get a light installed? On top of the various laws that must be abided by, they have to reprogram the entire traffic network to sync the light for optimal performance. That’s just one thing. Speed signs have to have aan entire “Traffic & engineering” survey completed before that’s even considered. Its not just some guy running around putting up a sign.


  2. Disgusted
    September 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Today in the AV Press, Palmdale Public Works Dierctor Mike Mischel goes on about how the city allocated 646K for a new stop light, but it’s going to take until next year to be completed. Really, Sir? Why don’t you all erect some 200- Stop signs for the sake of the pedestrians? If it’s a 4-way stop, with temporary blinking lights, at least the city will have made an effort.

  3. parent in palmdale
    September 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Does anyone know or have an update on the child injured?

  4. Derrick
    September 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Bottom line until the city puts some kind of stop light or stop sign parents just tell kids to look both ways before crossing & drivers beware just like driving through a school zone & driving by parks & even a ice cream truck just know that our future (kids) are close by

  5. Yo Mama
    September 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Corvettes are very low to the ground which offers poor visibility. Big trucks are very high off the ground, and afford great visibility for distance, but not right beside them. Ol girl was simply driving too fast, and the kids in the mix now realize that they’re, “only immortal for a limited time.”

    Everybody loses in this one. None of em were very bright that night. Period.

  6. Jackie M
    September 2, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    To all of you saying something about a light we have been down this road not even 6 months ago! You would think people driving past a PARK would slow down kinda like a school zone. As for the light the city stated it will be April of 2014 I know I was there. My friends and I had the petition going around. I pose this question to you what are you goin to do to put pressure on them? Since Michaels death there was another accident that I heard while on the soccer fields, and now 2 more children hit. I went to city hall and spoke of numbers and hurt and pain. They gave me april of next year. With this new accident I will be going back, what are your plans? Take a stand and do something don’t just be talk! Soccer season is in full swing again do we have to let another accident happen before we go as a community and make them listen? April is to far away!!!!!

    • Sandra
      September 3, 2013 at 8:43 am

      First off Rita is a family friend. You don’t know her and don’t judge her. Secondly this story is all screwed up because their was a third child who didn’t even get hurt. I wonder why. Maybe it was because he didn’t jolt in front of a moving car. People get your story right before you throw the blame. I swear Rita loves kids and is very devastated. She is really devastated. Her heart is boken.

      • Jackie M
        September 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

        Sandra I said noting against the driver, I spoke in general about having common sense and slowing down by a park, I feel bad for this woman and the fact that she has to lie with something that I am sure will haunt her forever. Just as I feel for the bus driver and the demons I’m sure she is facing too. I know there was a third child that was ok, I also know that it stated the children were almost across the street when they were hit. I asked the community what they planned on doing to make the city take action to repair something that should have been fixed a Lon time ago! I am sorry your friend has to face the mental traumas that will come for this but I am more sorry for the long road these children have ahead of them to recover, again they were in a crosswalk, near a park where there should be a stop light and lower speed limits.

  7. j
    September 2, 2013 at 10:46 am

    We do not need to lower the speed limits. The roads are meant for driving and people just need to be smarter when crossing the road. Don’t just assume the driver is gonna see you because we all know what happens when you assume. I do however agree that there should be a light at that intersection.

    • Rooney
      September 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      30+ years ago The speed limits were high when the AV was highways. Now it’s a city full of homes and people, not the little country town it was. People have the right of way and cars are supposed to acknowledge this. You must be of the new age where you think you can do what you want and have no regard for your neighbor. Remind me to stay off the road when you’re on it!

      • j
        September 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm

        I’m not a reckless driver by any means and I’m not suggesting we exceed the speed limits. I’m just saying that people should take responsibility for their own lives when they are crossing the street crosswalk or not. Even if the driver is at fault your either dead or seriously hurt so to avoid that just make sure you know the car is gonna stop before stepping out in front of it. Reducing the speed limits won’t help in most of the cases that occur due to the fact its usually a distracted driver that’s involved. Texting, talking ext. Getting hit by a car at 40 is still gonna kill you

        • Rooney
          September 3, 2013 at 10:48 am

          Children, including teenagers don’t always think like an adult should, by looking both ways before crossing. It’s up to the city to put signs i.e. speed limits, park ahead, road bumps etc to protect everyone.

          Reducing speed limits all over the valley will help. It should be something that is on the news to warn people of the change.

          When my son was two he got out of the car so fast and ran across the road to the park and was hit by a motorcycle. The sign said Riding Park, speed limit 25 mph. This guy hit him and threw him and dragged him 50 feet. He stopped to see if he was alive but then drove off. Luckily my baby son was alive but he was pretty badly hurt.

          So yes, Speed limits should be reduced in residential areas and especially parks. My street is a quiet street and it has a bend and people fly by like idiots, especially the guys on motorcycles. We want speed bumps like in Burbank.

          The problem is get a person behind the wheel of a car and they’re not the same person.

    • RJ
      September 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Sorry that someone walking across the road, in a marked crosswalk is such an inconvience to you.

      • A
        September 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

        First off its not a convenience to any one know the story cause u don’t ! They bolted across the street running and playing as she was turning so know this story before u speak about something you don’t know !

        • Rooney
          September 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

          Why didn’t she wait until they crossed the road? That’s the right thing to do. She’s in a car. They had no protection. She’s at fault!

        • Jackie M
          September 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm

          If she was turning how did she hit the children? I am so confused! It makes no sense. My son was hit by a car going 20mph he was fine some scrapes and bruses. I don’t understand how she could be going slow enough in a turn to critically injure someone. Bottom line te city needs to fix the intersection and people need to have respect for crosswalks and parks. Kids are kids and run out into the street we as drivers need to be responsible and pay attention. Please to all who want to take. Stand the city meets tonight, I will be speaking again to have something done. City hall by the old library at 7. I won’t be there till 730 due to soccer practice but is love to see others fight for this light as well.

  8. Tomas J
    September 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    The speed limits up there in the Antelope Valley are far too high. Most of the streets the limit is from 45 up to 55mph. That’s way to fast with people on side walks and crossing streets.
    These speeds might have made sense when the population was low but its time to change and go down to 35mph limit like the rest of the cities down south.

    • Rooney
      September 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you Thomas for your post. Someone who has common sense and regard for his fellow man. How refreshing!

  9. Liz Fuentes
    September 2, 2013 at 8:09 am

    This really is hearbreaking.
    I wonder how many more injuries or deaths does the City of Palmdale want in order for them to actually do something. I was told that the lights for that intersection would be put in April of 2014. Can’t they make it a temp. 4 way stop sign intersection or even hire someone to direct traffic? Idk, but this is ridiculous.
    I pray that they both make a speedy recovery.

  10. Melissa
    September 1, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I’ve lived near this intersection for 17 years. It wasn’t bad until the paved road was continued on avenue r past rockie lane. There more houses and school around this area now so they need to install another light at this intersection. Ya the lights can be a pain sometime but I’d rather sit at a light if it is going to save someone’s life.

  11. parent in palmdale
    September 1, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    This is definetly not the first accident at this intersection. I have lived in this area for 5 years. There has been many! WE NEED A LIGHT HERE!! There is no reason for there not to be an “actual” crosswalk at a park intersection, smack dab right in a residental area. There isnt any bold lines, flashing lights, stop signs, and only one sign about 700 ft from the intersection traveling east bound. There is one light at 47th and no others til 60th. Speed limit being 55, really? How dumb! Also, parents… your kids!!
    A kid was killed a few months back…. Why are parents letting their kids cross a 3 lane road at highway speed limits?? Pay attention to where your kids are! Life is too short!!! Prayers to both families, may God hold you up in this time of need.

  12. Barry Bigtoe
    September 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    This intersection should never have been left uncontrolled being it is in front of a park. It would take about an hour to put up stop signs and re-stripe in advance of signals. Sadly
    this is not Palmdales only park with nearby intersections uncontrolled.

    • Son of the Anti Rex
      September 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Ambulance chasing lawyers must have written the laws that determine when and where lights go. It takes forever to get lights installed because of all the regulations. Lawyers in government sucks.

  13. Moonlight
    September 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I have seen this woman drive aggressively in the neighborhood before. She drives her high performance sports car fast, and her carelessness has needlessly injured two kids. It is sad that there are so many examples of selfish driving in Palmdale. I wish that the city’s motor officers would patrol the east side of town. Additionally, the speed limit on Eaast Avenue R is too high. 45 mph would reasonable given the number of cross streets, schools, walkers, joggers and cyclists in this very active neighborhood.

    • dumbandblind
      September 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Whats worse than good people do nothing….

    • e harrison
      September 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      how do you know what this woman is going through now thats just an ignorant comment , you havnt a clue what happened and i find it very insensitive

      • parent in palmdale
        September 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        I agree e harrison! Everyone included in this accident has got to be hurting so bad! Prayer to both families!!

        • A
          September 3, 2013 at 8:23 am

          Thank you cause I am a friend of hers and she said they bolted across the street in front of her ! And she is not doing well she loves kids and it was a mishap of being careless playing around and an accident occurred. If it were my kids it they wouldn’t of been playing and running in the street crosswalk or not its dark and if they had dark clothing palmdale isn’t lit up well in certain areas. All I can say I pray for both families .

      • p
        September 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

        I know what she is going through and she is in pain and is suffering badly she is not doing well so please everyone keep your comments to yourself and let it be she is not well and she has family that loves her and wants to defend her but people with the negative comments come on she is going through a lot we love her and she loves kids its taking a toll on her and its really sad to see and hear.

    • Matt T.
      September 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Look- I have know Rita and her family forever. Moonlight, you don’t know what you are talking about. She is very careful, loves children and have been an advocate for people in her life personal and career. She does not drive recklessly so speak truthfully….There are many streets in the AV that need lights and slower speed limits. So lets be real here….

  14. Rooney
    September 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    How sad! I pray the boy makes it and recovers completely. I used to live in that area and it was always scary to cross the road. For this boy to be hurt this bad, she must have been travelling! The light needs to go in NOW, not 2014. Again Mayor Ledford, REDUCE ALL SPEED LIMITS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS!!!! This is on you!

    • Had it up to HERE
      September 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      No it’s not just on the mayor. There are a # of CA State highway laws that play a factor. Neither a moyor nor a city can not just arbitrarily decide what speed limit they want on each individual street. The fault lies with the driver, again!

      • Rooney
        September 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

        You’re right but it has to start somewhere.

Comments are closed.