School mourns OC student killed in crosswalk

LA PALMA, Calif. In La Palma, /*John F. Kennedy High School*/ students are remembering their friend and hoping to avoid another tragedy.

Friends gathered near the crosswalk where Sydney Ramirez was hit Monday morning on her way to Kennedy High in La Palma.

"She's the sweetest girl I've ever met in my life," said Berlin Edmond, a friend of Ramirez's.

Ramirez, 16, passed away Thursday morning in the hospital after her family removed her from life support.

"Sidney was a great kid. She was really sweet, with enough sass to make her fun to be around," said family friend Erik Peterson.

Residents and friends are pushing for changes at the crosswalk on Crescent Ave. and Watson St., a busy crossing. Police say the teenager and her friend were crossing at 6:45 a.m. Monday when a minivan slammed into her.

"As she was crossing the intersection she didn't see her, and she hit her, and she had a really bad blow to her head, said Berlin Edmond.

Police are investigating to see if the 55-year-old driver was distracted when she hit Ramirez.

"That's under investigation as for why see didn't see the victim, but it was at 6:45 a.m., so it was a little bit diminished lighting at that time," said La Palma Police Captain Eric Nunez.

Police say they have received complaints about speeding at the location in the past. The day of the accident an officer was enforcing speed. Investigators believe the driver was traveling the speed limit.

Plenty of distracted drivers could be observed Thursday at the intersection. In just 15 minutes, a vehicle blew through the crosswalk even though students were waiting to cross. Shortly after, police stopped a different vehicle that failed to yield as a woman was halfway through the crosswalk.

"This crosswalk is hard to see. As a motorist in the area, it's hard to see, and when the kids are crossing early in the morning, we need something to slow drivers down or stop them," said Erik Peterson.

Police say the city added a special coating to the crosswalk last year to make it more visible. After the accident they also added a crossing guard.

Residents say they would like to see more to prevent what happened to Ramirez from happening to someone else.

"Sydney means the world to so many people," said Edmond.

Police say the driver who hit Ramirez was not cited, although they are still investigating the incident.

If you have witnessed Monday's collision, you're asked to call La Palma Police at (714) 690-3370.

A memorial service was planned for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Community Church in Buena Park. It is open to the public.

A car wash is also planned to be held at Kennedy High School on Sunday to help the family with expenses.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.