Los Angeles County Fire Department

‘He Was Brilliant': Teen Killed in Crash While Riding Bike to School in Pacoima

A 15-year-old was struck by a vehicle and killed while riding his bicycle to school after two trucks crashed in Pacoima Tuesday morning.

One truck was heading eastbound on Vaughn Street, and the other truck was traveling southbound on Glenoaks Boulevard before both vehicles crashed in the middle of the intersection. The teen was riding his bicycle across the street in the crosswalk when they crashed.

The teenager was trapped underneath a pickup truck, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He was later freed, but died at the scene of the crash.

What led to the crash was not immediately clear.

The victim's family identified him after they arrived at the scene.

He was later identified by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office as Saul Lopez of San Fernando.

His parents said he was on his way to Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, where he attended high school, about a block away from where the crash happened. His mother noted he was very book smart. 

"He was well-liked by everyone that knew him and one couldn't help but smile when he walked into a room," Jamie Dewaele, a teacher from Vaughn International Studies Academy, wrote on a GoFundMe page for Saul.

The page raised over $20,000 of the $15,000 goal as of Tuesday night.

"He was brilliant," Dewaele said. "His sense of humor was admirable for a student of his age. He gave our class personality."

Due to the "traumatic" nature of the crash, police called a crisis response team to speak with the parties involved, and to respond to the victim's high school, said Bill Bustos of the Los Angeles Police Department.

A woman driving one of the cars suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital in good condition, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

All lanes of Glenoaks Boulevard were closed between the 118 Freeway and Vaughn Street Tuesday morning while authorities investigated the crash.

Authorities were preparing to reopen the street around 11 a.m.

Beverly White contributed to this report.

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