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Cyclist hit, killed by school bus in Palmdale

March 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An 18-year-old riding his bike to soccer practice was struck and killed by a school bus in Palmdale on Monday afternoon.

Michael Valenzuela was rushed to the hospital, but he didn't survive. Investigators say the bus carrying more than 40 students from Los Amigos School was westbound on Avenue R as Valenzuela crossed from 55th Street East.

"We have a bicyclist who had just left his first day of work and was coming to the park that's adjacent to this intersection here to play soccer with friends. Unfortunately, he crossed in the path of a school bus," said Sgt. Tom Lackey with the California Highway Patrol.

Residents say they have asked the city repeatedly for a light at the intersection since so many kids use the park's soccer fields.

"This is not the first time this has happened. This has happened several times because there's no stop lights," said Palmdale resident Eddie De Leon.

For Valenzuela, the park was his home away from home. His passion was soccer. His dream was to play professionally one day.

His friends and family are struggling to comprehend the tragedy.

"He was a really good person, so it's hard to believe he's gone," said friend Diana Perez.


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