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SIMI VALLEY | East Ventura County Focus

Cyclist's Lights Were Off Before Fatality

November 15, 1996|SCOTT STEEPLETON

A 17-year-old boy who was killed when his motorcycle broadsided a truck Wednesday night was riding in the dark with his headlight off, authorities said.

Christopher Campbell of Simi Valley was eastbound on Los Angeles Avenue at 9:48 p.m. when he entered the intersection at Alscot Avenue and hit a four-wheel-drive Toyota truck, said Simi Police Lt. Jon Ainsworth.

Campbell suffered severe head and neck injuries and was transported to Simi Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. The driver of the truck was identified as Shannon Moore, 19, of Simi Valley. Moore was not injured, Ainsworth said.

"At this point we are leaning toward the idea that the motorcycle did not have its headlamp on," Ainsworth said. "We have spoken with two witnesses who saw the motorcycle driving prior to the accident who said the light was out."

The headlamp will be sent to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department crime lab for evaluation, Ainsworth said.

Preliminary information suggests that Moore had stopped at the intersection, and seeing no headlights made his way across, Ainsworth said. By the time his truck was hit, Moore was about three-quarters of the way through the intersection. There were no skid marks left by the motorcycle, Ainsworth said.

The speed limit on Los Angeles Avenue is 45 mph, and it does not appear that Campbell was traveling at an excessive speed, Ainsworth said.

Counselors at Simi Valley High School, where Campbell was a senior, met with students Thursday to support them in their grief following the loss of the popular student, said interim Principal Dennis Rast. Individual counseling sessions will be offered next week.

"When we lose a student it's like losing a family member," Rast said. It is particularly difficult, he added, when it involves a senior who has established ties to teachers and other students over the years.

"Christopher was involved in school beyond the student role," Rast said. "He was a teacher's aide. . . . When you volunteer to do that you establish yourself as a responsible person. You're establishing a relationship with the students in that class."

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