Teenager Killed By Truck In Highland Park Was An Aspiring Filmmaker
The teenage boy who was fatally struck by a city truck in Highland Park yesterday has been identified as Andres Perez, an aspiring filmmaker who had just been accepted to Cal State L.A.Andres Perez would have been 18 on Sunday, KTLA reports. He was a high school senior from Montebello who attended Los Angeles International Charter High School. He had just been accepted to Cal State L.A. where he was planning to study film, according to the school's executive director, Clifford Moseley.
A GoFundMe has been set up for his family. The page has raised $4,747 so far of its $10,000 goal. According to the page, Perez was an active member at his church, Victory Outreach of El Sereno.
"He was a very fun, loving, cheerful young man. Very responsible and eager to attend school, unfortunately he didn't make it. His dream was to become a successful film director and to be able to take care of his parents as they have always done their best for him."
Perez was fatally struck by an L.A. Bureau of Street Services truck after 7 a.m. yesterday morning while he was crossing at North Figueroa Street and Avenue 60, headed in the direction of his school. However, his school was closed, along with all LAUSD schools, due to an emailed terrorist threat.
The truck was making a left turn from Avenue 60 to head north on Figueroa. While it's not clear if Perez was walking with the traffic light or not, he was in the crosswalk and had right-of-way. The driver of the truck was a 27-year-old city employee who was working at the time of the crash. A witness reported seeing the distraught driver sobbing on the curb.
Residents have been demanding this particular stretch of Figueroa—which has been noted as especially dangerous for pedestrians—be made safer, calling on Councilman Gil Cedillo to do something. What Cedillo has actually done so far is quash plans for a road diet, which would nix a driving lane and add a bike lane.
Felicia Garcia organized a vigil for Perez last night on behalf of Figueroa for All, a group that advocates for safer streets. Cedillo did not attend the vigil, though Councilman Jose Huizar did.
"You need to talk to Councilman Gil Cedillo at his reluctance to slow traffic down," Huizar said at the vigil.
Cedillo did say that there's not enough information yet about the crash, "and there is no indication that this is anything other than a tragic accident at this moment," Pasadena Star News reports.
There will be another vigil for Perez at the scene of the crash on Friday at 6 p.m.
In September, 51-year-old Irma Yolanda Espinoza-Lugo was struck and killed in a hit-and-run at Figueroa and Avenue 55. William Matelyan, 84, was struck and killed on North Figueroa Street in Cypress Park in July. Jose Luna, 33, was struck and killed at North Figueroa Street at Marmion Way by a drunk driver while he riding his bike in June.