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Laura Austin Photo / Emergency rescuers at the scene of a fatal collision between a motorcycle and a motor vehicle.

Traffic collision claims life of local youth

By LAURA AUSTIN News Review Staff Writer–

Friday evening at approximately 5:40 PM, as many were returning home from work, emergency first responders responded to a report of a motorcycle-versus-vehicle traffic collision. An eyewitness had observed the collision and notified 911.

The collision occurred at the intersection of South Sunland Street and East Bowman Avenue. Upon arrival, Firefighters, Police officers, and ambulance personnel located an unconscious juvenile on the roadway near scattered remains of a motorcycle the youth was operating.

  Rescuers immediately began first aid measures, including CPR on the juvenile. Liberty Ambulance and Kern County firefighters worked feverishly to revive the youth on the scene. Shortly after, the juvenile was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased. The driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries.

 The Ridgecrest Police Department (RPD) traffic unit responded to the scene and conducted a fatal traffic accident investigation, along with Police and Community Together (PACT), to help with road closures. The Kern County Coroner’s office was notified of the fatal collision and is working alongside the RPD’s traffic unit on the investigation.

The News-Review contacted the Sands Unified School District, where the youth was enrolled.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the loss of one of our beloved Murray Middle School students over the weekend. Dr April Moore, Ed.D. Sierra Sands Unified District (SSUSD)Superintendent offered. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the student’s family during this difficult time.”

“Out of respect for the family’s wishes, we honor their request for privacy as they grieve. We understand this is an intensely personal and painful experience, and  want to provide them with the space they need to cope.”

The SSUSD crisis team was present at Murray Middle School on Monday following the accident. The crisis team is comprised of trained professionals, including counselors and other key members, who were available to support students, staff, and the school community. According to Moore, the team is committed to providing emotional support, resources, and guidance to those affected by this tragedy.

Moore also related that the SSUSD team stands ready to support any formal event the family may wish to host in memory of their loved one.

“Our hearts are with them, and we will do everything we can to assist during this challenging time.” Moore continued. “Together, we mourn the loss of a bright young life and extend our deepest condolences to the family.”