A Santa Monica High School student died Sunday night after being struck by a car while riding his scooter, officials said.
Leo Castillo, a 16-year-old freshman who had previously attended John Adams Middle School, was riding with a friend on 26th Street near Olympic Boulevard when he was hit, according to the Santa Monica-Malibu school district.
The Santa Monica Police Department issued a statement that said the driver of the vehicle was traveling westbound on Olympic Boulevard while the motorized scooter, carrying the victim and a passenger, was traveling northbound on 26th Streetat about 8:52 p.m.
“As the driver proceeded westbound through the intersection on a green light, he was unable to avoid striking the driver and passenger of the scooter, who entered into the intersection against a red light,” the statement reads.
Authorities said the driver, a 73-year-old man from Los Angeles, remained at the scene and cooperated. There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to Leo’s family and friends during this sad time,” Samohi principal Eva Mayoral said in a statement. “Many of us also knew Leo as a JAMS student and losing a member of our Samo and SMMUSD family is just devastating to all of us.”
Castillo’s friend is in critical condition, according to the school district. The friend’s name was not released.
District officials have alerted teachers and students and notified parents about the fatal crash, spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said. They have also reached out to Castillo’s parents to support “in any way they can during this difficult time.”
Grief counseling was available to students and staff in the library Monday, and additional support was offered to students, families and community members Monday evening at Virginia Avenue Park.
Students and others took to social media to express their condolences.
“Didn’t know … Leo but he’s a Viking so regardless he’s family and we should all send a prayer to him and his family,” Zane Spielman wrote Monday on Twitter.
” … take care of your self up there,” Ashley Castillo tweeted.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Investigator Jason Olson at (310) 458-8954,Sgt.Phillbo Rubish at (310) 458-8950 or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8495.
Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.