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Vigil set for Palmdale teen killed in school bus crash

March 26, 2013|By Joseph Serna

A vigil is scheduled Tuesday night for a Palmdale teen who was killed when he was hit by a school bus while riding his bike.

Friends and family of Michael Valenzuela, 18, will gather at the intersection of 55th Street and Avenue R at 8 p.m. to remember the soccer-playing high school graduate, KTLA-TV reported.

Valenzuela was hit at about 3:45 p.m. as he rode his bike to soccer practice, said Gil Hernandez of the California Highway Patrol, which is investigating the accident.

Valenzuela was southbound on 54th Street when he stopped at at a stop sign at Avenue R.

The teen attempted to cross the avenue, but “did not clear the road” and was hit by a school bus traveling westbound on Avenue R, Hernandez said.

The bus was going 45 mph when it struck Valenzuela, authorities said. His body was recovered 150 feet away from the collision. He was pronounced dead at Antelope Valley Hospital.

He was nicknamed “Speedy” because of his love for running cross-country and track, KTLA reported.

“He was a good kid, a good guy,” Valenzuela’s friend Marco Ibarra told the TV station. “We called him the baby of the group because he was the youngest one of us. Speedy -- he loved running.”

The bus had moderate damage to its front end. There were 47 children between kindergarten and eighth grade on board and none of them were injured, Hernandez said.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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