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Boy on Skates Dies in Crash

Hearing-impaired Placentia teen en route to pick up his brother is run over by a truck.

June 10, 2004|Susan Anasagasti | Times Staff Writer

A 13-year-old Placentia boy was killed Wednesday when he collided with a garbage truck that then ran over him, police said.

Andrew Sanders was pronounced dead at 2:17 p.m. at the scene. He was one day away from completing seventh grade at Kraemer Middle School.

Andrew, who was hearing impaired, was on his way to Ruby Drive Elementary to pick up his 8-year-old brother at the time of the accident, Placentia police spokesman Sgt. Richard Pascarella said.

The boy, who was wearing a helmet, was on in-line skates and pushing a scooter along the sidewalk when he went down a sloped curb onto a street. He struck a Placentia Disposal truck making a turn.

Police said the child went underneath the front of the truck. The driver began backing up, unaware of what had happened. The truck's front wheel then ran over the boy.

Authorities believed the boy may not have heard the truck's warning beep as it traveled in reverse.

"We knew he [Andrew] had momentum and was traveling at a high speed," Pascarella said.

The boy's mother, Mayla Sanders, arrived at the scene -- just half a block from their home -- moments after the accident.

The driver was so distraught, police said, he had to be assisted from his truck. He has not been cited, Lt. Steve Toth said, although the investigation continues.

Neighbors said Andrew was the oldest of four children, and that the family participated in many church activities.

"He was a little doll, a good kid," neighbor Maria Jones said.

Nathan Vank, 11, said he spent a lot of time with Andrew. "Ever since I was a little kid, we used to play together, catch bugs, [play] slip and slide," Nathan said.

Classmates at Kraemer Middle School remembered Andrew as an avid reader who tackled challenging authors. Shakespeare was one of his favorites.

"He literally walks and reads at the same time," seventh-grader Sabrina Mosino said. "He used to get in trouble in math or science class because he would get caught reading."

The family released a statement through spokeswoman Robbin Bretzing: "Andrew had a tremendous love for reading. It was his favorite pastime. The family would love any child to donate a book in honor of Andrew."

Times staff writer Kevin Pang contributed to this report.

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