A mother recounts the tragedy that she and her husband went through after her husband says he witnessed their 12-year-old son being run over by a suspected DUI driver.
Eleanor Bascon says her husband saw the car coming and realized that it was not going to stop. He tried to get the driver’s attention, but he couldn’t stop him.
“My husband called me from the site and said something happened,” says Bascon.
Her husband and her son Noel Bascon were biking near an intersection in Costa Mesa when police said the driver of a rented pickup ran a stop sign, crashed into the little boy, and killed him. They allege he was driving under the influence.
Bascon called her son Noel her early Christmas present. He was a 7th grader with a contagious smile who loved gummy candy and going to the beach. Recently, he was very happy because he was finally able to go back to school.
“He’s a sweet, smiling, happy, energetic boy. He loves being outdoors in the parks,” she said.
She says her husband who saw the whole incident is devastated.
“[He was] just an innocent boy enjoying a bike ride, and he never came back home," she said.
The suspected driver, Richard Lavelle, was charged with murder. Investigators say he had a prior DUI in 2013. His passenger was also arrested on drug-related charges.
“He’s a menace to society. He needs to be locked up for life, so he doesn’t do this to anybody else again,” Bascon said.
Both she and her husband work in medical care and have witnessed heartache firsthand during the pandemic.
She says she and her daughter would have been on that bike ride too. It was something they often did as a family, but Sunday night they were home wrapping Christmas presents.