Teenage Boy Fatally Struck On Dangerous Stretch Of Figueroa Street
A teenage boy was fatally struck by a truck early this morning in Highland Park in an area where residents have demanded safety improvements for months.
The 17-year-old victim was crossing at North Figueroa Street and Avenue 60 at about 7:10 a.m., KTLA reports. He was struck by a flatbed truck turning left from Avenue 60 to head north on Figueroa. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
The boy was a student at Los Angeles International Charter High School at 625 Coleman Ave., less than a mile from the crash. He was headed in that direction when he was hit by the car. The school was closed, according to its website, along with all LAUSD schools in light of a terrorist threat that was emailed to board members.
The truck was an L.A. Bureau of Street Services truck, and the 27-year-old driver was working at the time of the crash. A AAA worker who responded to the scene said that the driver was sitting on the curb sobbing after the crash. The AAA worker said the driver told police that the boy had jumped in front of his truck.
Investigators are not sure yet if the boy was following traffic lights or not yet.
This area of Figueroa Street has previously been noted as particularly dangerous, and L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo has been criticized for quashing a plan to put the street on a "road diet" that would nix a lane for drivers and add bike lanes.
At the time, Cedillo said he was throwing out the plan for safety reasons, arguing that it would delay firefighters and police in the event of an emergency. However, LAFD and LAPD did not officially object to the road diet.
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.
Figueroa For All, a group which advocates for the installation of bike lanes and other improvements to North Figueroa, has taken to social media, demanding that Cedillo take action to make this area safer.