Santa Clara County Sheriff

Teen on Bicycle Fatally Struck, Driver Didn't See Him: Sheriff

A teenage boy on a bicycle was fatally struck by a dump truck in Cupertino Monday morning, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff.

But the driver of the truck didn't immediately know he had hit the boy, and ended up stopping a short time later, Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said. A deputy told NBC Bay Area the boy had been wearing a helmet.

“The witnesses that saw the accident basically notified the driver somehow and the driver stopped about half a mile away on Bubb Road," Stenderup said. "Once he was told he was in an accident, he was totally unaware and did not know he struck someone. He’s very cooperative with us and we’re getting a statement and collecting evidence on the truck.”

The accident was reported about 8 a.m. on Bubb and McClellan roads. The truck's logo said it belonged to Moonlight Express out of Tracy. No one from that company answered the phone on Monday when NBC Bay Area called for comment.

The NBC Bay Area chopper was dispatched to the scene, showing a bicycle on the side of the road near some bushes, and light rail tracks. Not much else was released about the boy, but the closest high school is Monta Vista. Reached by phone about 10 a.m., Principal Diane Goularte said she didn't know if the student attended her school - she had not yet heard from the sheriff's office. There are three other schools in the area.

As an unfortunate coincidence, the Governors Highway Safety Association released on Monday a report showing that the number of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways is "trending upward," and California is among six states that represent 54 percent of all fatalities.

The report's author, former Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Chief Scientist Dr. Allan Williams, analyzed bicycle fatality data, showing that bicyclist deaths have increased overall 16 percent between 2010 and 2012, while car deaths have increased just one percent during the same time period.

Other than California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas, are the other five states with concentrated urban centers and the highest bicycle death rates in the country.

Those who are killed most often on a bicycle are males, the report found. In 2012, the study found that at least two thirds of those killed on bicycles were not wearing helmets.

Twenty one states have helmet laws for younger riders, but no state has a universal helment law.

California enacted a universal helmet law in 1992 for anyone younger than 18.

NBC Bay Area's Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.

Contact Us