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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

School Crossing Guard Struck, Killed by Car

November 22, 2000

NORTH HOLLYWOOD — A crossing guard was struck and killed outside a North Hollywood elementary school Tuesday morning by a 17-year-old motorist who lost control of his car, police said.

The guard, William Edward Hooper, 60, of Tujunga was pronounced dead after being taken to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, minutes after being hit across the street from Lankershim Elementary School about 7:20 a.m.

The driver, who was heading east on Magnolia Boulevard, was momentarily distracted--possibly by the sun's glare--and drove his 1989 Dodge Colt Vista station wagon onto the curb at the corner of Bakman Avenue, said Det. Bill Bustos of the LAPD Valley Traffic Division.

The wagon struck the wall of an office building, knocked over a lamppost and a small tree, and smashed into Hooper, Bustos said. No children were present.

An investigation is ongoing, but Bustos said police had no information indicating that the driver was speeding.

A number of witnesses interviewed by police said the boy, who was alone in the car, had been running errands for his parents. He was driving between 25 and 35 mph, said LAPD Det. Ron White, and was sober. Physical evidence does not suggest excessive speed was involved, White added.

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