Boy killed by school bus in Glendale is identified

Grief-stricken classmates of a 13-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a school bus on Thursday returned to Roosevelt Middle School Friday, some of them seeking solace at a makeshift memorial that was set up at the collision site.

One item left at the memorial was a white bike, known as a ghost bike, placed there by Danny Gamboa of Long Beach, who regularly leaves ghost bikes at sites where bicyclists have either been injured or killed in crashes in the L.A. area.

The Los Angeles County coroner on Friday identified the boy as Jonathan Hernandez, who died shortly after being struck by, and trapped underneath, a school bus Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Riverdale Drive.

He was previously identified by Glendale police as being 14.

Grief counselors were at the campus for friends and teachers who knew Jonathan, who was described as well-liked and a student who excelled academically.

In preliminary interviews with police, witnesses said the boy was traveling at a high rate of speed on his bicycle headed westbound in an eastbound lane.

Due to the extent of his injuries, paramedics did a “scoop-and-run” in which he was extricated from under the bus for immediate transport to Glendale Memorial Hospital, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

“This is a tragic traffic accident,” said Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan. “It’s basically a reminder to both parents and community members that they need to be careful when driving around schools.”

Students also need to pay attention when they’re walking or biking to and from school, he added.

“It’s awful,” said Sheehan, who described the mood at the Roosevelt campus as “very somber.”
Grief counselors were also sent to an elementary school where Jonathan had to two younger siblings, Sheehan said.

An investigation into the cause of the collision remained ongoing.

-- Jason Wells, jason.wells@latimes.com

Follow on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells.

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