Tragedy in California yesterday, where a 12-year-old boy was riding a motorized scooter he'd gotten for Christmas in front of his Upland home when he was hit by a car. Roman Martinez was pronounced dead at the Loma Linda Medical Center, CBS LA reports. The child had reportedly just left the driveway, was riding in the street, and was not in a crosswalk at the time, and authorities don't think alcohol is a factor. They are looking into whether speed played a role, but a California Highway Patrol statement obtained by KTLA notes, "The juvenile rode out of the driveway directly into the path of the oncoming Honda. [The driver] applied her brakes but was unable to stop prior to colliding with the juvenile."
The 30-year-old female driver stopped to help and was reportedly hysterical, and neighbors also rushed to help. "Me and my family were inside ... cleaning up [after] Christmas, and then we heard a screeching," says one. Another tells NBC LA he heard "the screeching of the tires from hitting the brakes and the thud from the actual impact." Martinez was wearing a helmet, his family says. The car's windshield was shattered by the impact. Martinez's godmother, who says her godson "was never sad, always happy," notes, "I just think people need to be a little more mindful, especially in neighborhoods. ... Kids live here." Roman's father adds that he thinks "the speeding on this street," where the limit is 35mph, "is ridiculous." (In another Christmas tragedy, a grandma and her three visiting grandkids were killed in a fire yesterday.)