A 15-year-old Santa Barbara boy died Friday night after being struck by a flatbed truck in a Milpas Street crosswalk. The collision is under investigation but police say it appears to be an accident and that alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
Police Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte said Saturday that emergency personnel were called to the intersection of Milpas and Ortega streets about 9:15 p.m. Friday after the youth was struck as he crossed Milpas near the Alpha Thrift Store, 700 N. Milpas St.
When officers arrived at the scene, medical personnel were conducting CPR on the boy in the street, he said.
The youth was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, but he died of his injuries.
Police say the truck driver was traveling southbound on Milpas at an unknown rate of speed when he struck the youth. Duarte said the driver, a 19-year-old Santa Barbara man, stopped immediately, and he and a passer-by began to render aid to the victim.
According to Duarte, a preliminary investigation by SBPD’s Collision Reconstruction Team indicated that alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the incident, but the investigation is ongoing.
The driver, whose identity was not released, has not been charged in the collision.
Several witnesses told police that another vehicle had been stopped at the intersection at the time of the collision but that the driver left the scene before officers arrived. Police are looking to contact the occupants of the second vehicle to learn what they may have witnessed, Duarte said.
There is no traffic signal at the intersection, and the west end of Ortega Street dead-ends at the Santa Barbara Junior High School campus a half-block away.
San Marcos High School Principal Ed Behrens spoke for the school in a statement issued Saturday night.
“We are all greatly saddened at the sudden loss of Sergio Romero,” Behrens said. “He was a wonderful member of the San Marcos High School community. Sergio was a bright young man with a very promising future. He was a 10th-grader and an enthusiastic member of the school’s wrestling team.
“He will be missed by all.”
On Monday, counselors will be on the San Marcos High campus to talk with Sergio’s classmates, fellow students and teachers.