Driver Who Struck Teen and Crossing Guard, Sending Them Flying in the Air Said Sun Was in His Eyes - NBC Southern California

Driver Who Struck Teen and Crossing Guard, Sending Them Flying in the Air Said Sun Was in His Eyes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Driver Strikes Teen and Crossing Guard in Valley Glen

    The man behind the wheel said the sun was in his eyes when the crash occurred. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. (Published Monday, Sept. 16, 2019)

    A man behind the wheel of a silver sedan said the sun was in his eyes when he accidentally struck a teen and the crossing guard who was helping her Monday in Valley Glen. 

    The crossing guard later died at a hospital, City News Service reported, citing Los Angeles police. 

    Video from a nearby apartment building in the 13400 block of West Vanowen Street shows the 7:20 a.m. crash that sent the two flying into the air.

    Witness Manuel Lara rushed out to help, focusing first on the crossing guard, whom he says was seriously injured.

    "She was bleeding. She was complaining of not being able to breathe," Lara said.

    He also checked on the 16-year-old girl lying near her in the street.

    "She was able to get up and walk to the sidewalk," Lara said.

    Lara and others who live near the crash site say it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. The two who were hit were in the crosswalk while a blinking yellow light was on, and the crossing guard was wearing a yellow vest.

    Karla Gonzalez, who leaves nearby, says even then, some drivers refuse to stop.

    "And they make direct eye contact with you, as they're driving by," she said.

    Madaviel Garcia was behind the wheel, and he says he's always a very careful driver.

    But Monday morning as he drove east toward the rising sun, he could barely see.

    He apologized to the families of both people he hit, saying the sun was in his eyes.

    An LA Department of Transportation spokesperson released this statement following the crash:

    "We were incredibly saddened by the news of this morning’s tragic crash that struck a child and critically injured a crossing guard in Valley Glen. Both victims continue to be treated for their injuries. Crossing guards provide a valuable service for children, families, and our communities, helping more than 180,000 students throughout our city get to school safely everyday and are significant members of the LADOT family. We continue to work with LAPD, who is leading the investigation for this crash."

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