Vigil held for 13-year-old boy struck and killed while crossing street with family in Hawthorne

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Monday, January 16, 2023
Teen fatally struck while crossing street with family in Hawthorne
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Family members and friends are mourning the loss of a 13-year-old boy who was fatally struck by a vehicle in Hawthorne while crossing a street with his family.

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KABC) -- Family members and friends are mourning the loss of a 13-year-old boy who was fatally struck by a vehicle in Hawthorne while crossing a street with his family.

The incident happened last weekend. Michael Leon was crossing El Segundo Boulevard with his dad and 12-year-old sister when they were hit. They had been on their way home from the laundromat.

The father suffered minor injuries but the teenage boy lost his life, and the boy's sister escaped without injury.

An emotional vigil was held in memory of the teen on Sunday night.

"He always had a nice heart. He never tried to make someone else's life difficult," said the boy's sister, Taina Leon. "He was never a trouble-maker."

The driver stopped and has been cooperating with authorities. The cause of the deadly crash remains under investigation, but family and friends say speed was a factor.

"No one here heard brakes. There are no screech marks on the street. It's insane. It's insanity and... we really need help in this community to keep our children safe," said family friend Maud Scorza.

They also said drivers routinely race along the busy roadway. They're now asking for more safety measures on that stretch of road, with numerous schools and businesses in the area.

The victim's heartbroken sister is now pleading with drivers to slow down before any more innocent lives are lost.

"It's stupid, driving fast. For something that could cause an accident -- because you never know," she said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family.