Palmdale teen's family files suit against school district after he fell out of truck on campus, died

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Thursday, December 1, 2022
Lawsuit after teen falls out of truck at high school in Palmdale, dies
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The family of a high school student filed a lawsuit against the Antelope Valley Union High School District after he fell out of the bed of a moving pickup truck in a campus parking lot and died.

PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- The family of a high school student has filed a lawsuit against the Antelope Valley Union High School District after he fell out of the bed of a moving pickup truck in a campus parking lot and died.

Jonathan Alfaro's mother says his death could have easily been prevented, and now she is fighting to make sure no other family has to endure the emotional devastation she is experiencing.

"Jonathan died as the result of the school district's negligence," family attorney Michael Carrillo said at a news conference.

The lawsuit claims that school officials at Pete Knight High school in Palmdale failed to supervise the school's parking lot, to prevent students from driving recklessly.

Carrillo released cellphone video to Eyewitness News that shows a speeding motorcycle in the parking lot, as well as someone performing a wheelie on a motorcycle. A truck is seen burning rubber in the parking lot.

Carrillo said Jonathan, a student at the school, died as a result of falling out of the bed of a truck in the parking lot. The attorney claims the person behind the wheel of the vehicle was recklessly driving and lost control of the truck after hitting a speed bump, causing Jonathan to fall out of the truck suffering fatal injuries. The incident occurred Feb. 18.

"He fell off the truck, sustained multiple injuries to his head, to his legs, to his body," Carrillo said. "Later he went through four or five surgeries, including brain surgeries and unfortunately he died."

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Speaking in Spanish, Jonathan's mother told reporters: "Because of this stupidity, I do not want any other mother or father to have to think about having to go through this, because he's dead and now part of my life is dead.

"A mother who would never think that she would drive her son to school and he would not come back," she said.

The school district did not immediately respond to Eyewitness News' request for comment.

"We recently learned that one of the minors that was driving the truck has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter," Carrillo said. "It just goes to show that this could have been prevented for her as well. She didn't have to be charged with a crime if school administrators had intervened, had stopped this conduct, this negligent act."

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