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School mourns teen killed by bus

Jonathan Hernandez was run over while riding his bicycle through an intersection. The driver never saw him, police say.

May 03, 2013|By Jason Wells, Los Angeles Times
  • Roosevelt Middle School students set up a memorial for Jonathan Hernandez.
Roosevelt Middle School students set up a memorial for Jonathan Hernandez. (Raul Roa / Glendale News…)

Grief-stricken classmates of a 13-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a school bus on Thursday returned to Roosevelt Middle School in Glendale on Friday, some of them seeking solace at a memorial that was set up at the collision site.

The Los Angeles County coroner on Friday identified the boy as Jonathan Hernandez, who died shortly after being struck and trapped underneath a school bus Thursday afternoon at Columbus Avenue and Riverdale Drive.

Grief counselors were at the campus for friends and teachers who knew Jonathan, who was described as well-liked and a student who excelled academically.

The preliminary investigation by the Glendale Police Department indicates that the boy was riding his bicycle west on the south sidewalk of Riverdale Drive without a helmet when he entered the intersection at Columbus Avenue without yielding.

That's when he collided with a bus from a private school, which was traveling north on Columbus, according to a police report.

There was no indication that the bus driver was impaired, according to police. She was transported to Glendale Adventist Medical Center for evaluation.

The bus driver told police she never saw the boy coming, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

There is a circular median in the center of the intersection that vehicles must go around after stopping.

"You can't speed through this intersection," Lorenz said.

Due to the extent of his injuries, paramedics did a "scoop-and-run" in which he was extricated from under the bus for immediate transportation to Glendale Memorial Hospital, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

"This is a tragic traffic accident," Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan said. "It's basically a reminder to both parents and community members that they need to be careful when driving around schools."

Students also need to pay attention when they are walking or biking to and from school, he added.

"It's awful," said Sheehan, who described the mood at the Roosevelt campus as "very somber."

Grief counselors were also sent to an elementary school attended by two of Jonathan's younger siblings, Sheehan said.

An investigation into the cause of the collision is continuing.

Times staff writer Mark Kellam contributed to this report.

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