Highland Park

Memorial for Student Fatally Struck by Truck

Mourners gathered Wednesday to remember a teen who was struck and killed by a big rig as he was walking to school.

Friends of Andres Perez placed candles and flowers on a sidewalk just feet away from where he was run over by a city service truck in Highland Park on Tuesday morning. Perez, 17, was on his way to Los Angeles International Charter High School, apparently unaware that a hoax threat had forced the closure of the campus.

Perez was described as full of joy, a young man of strong faith and Christianity.

Family friend Cassandra Contreras couldn't help remember trying to comfort a mother who had just lost her child.

"I stood with her until her family got here," Contreras said. "With all the events that took place yesterday, I can't help but feel we live in just a cruel world and he's in a better place. That's what's kind of bringing some type of peace to my heart."

An assembly was held at Perez's high school Wednesday morning to honor him. Counselors were there to help grieving students.

Contreras was upset his death triggered immediate calls for city action, such as bike lanes to be installed on this street.

"I don't feel that his death should benefit personal agendas of bike lanes and council members - who did what better or who came first. It doesn't matter. There's a mother who didn't get to hug her baby last night, a mother who's going to forever be heartbroken."

The school says it plans a vigil for him Thursday. There's also one scheduled for Friday at the spot where he was killed.

It's unclear what led to the collision or whether the driver faces any criminal charges.

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