A Greene Middle School student on a bicycle died Friday night, March 6, when he was struck by flatbed truck at El Camino Real and California Avenue in Palo Alto, police and school officials said.
The child was identified as 11-year-old Paul Lafargue of Palo Alto, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office.
The boy attended Frank S. Greene Jr. Middle School, district Superintendent Don Austin confirmed. The school district will provide extra counseling support to students and staff at Greene this week.
Police received multiple calls around 7:40 p.m. Friday about a collision between a vehicle and bicyclist. Officers and Palo Alto Fire Department personnel responded "right away," but the boy was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a police press release issued Saturday.
A preliminary investigation has revealed both the boy and the truck were traveling eastbound on California Avenue approaching El Camino, with the boy riding on the sidewalk.
The vehicle, a white 2008 International flatbed truck, made a right turn to head southbound on El Camino and hit the boy, police said.
The driver, a Palo Alto man in his 60s, stayed at the scene and cooperated with police. He was uninjured, police said, and has not been cited or arrested pending the outcome of the investigation. Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.
Southbound lanes of El Camino were closed until 1:30 a.m. Saturday while police investigated the scene.
A memorial for the boy has sprung up near the intersection, with community members leaving bouquets of flowers, stuffed animals, a Rubik's cube, candles and notes.
"Rest in peace, sweet child" said one that had been taped onto a tree above a picture filled with pink, purple and blue hearts.
Anyone who may have witnessed this collision and who has not already spoken with police about it is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.