Residents react on Facebook to child bicyclist’s death

Authorities responded at about 4 p.m. to Memorial Drive and Sunnyslope Road.

Residents reacted on social media after a juvenile bicyclist’s death in a traffic accident Monday in Hollister.
Hollister police reported that a juvenile struck by a bus at about 4 p.m. Monday was pronounced dead.
Responders performed CPR on the child struck by a bus along Memorial Drive at Verdun Avenue near the Sunnyslope Road intersection—also close to Veterans Memorial Park—after the incident. Dozens of residents looked on as responders performed CPR as a small bike lay nearby in the road and the bus remained parked along Memorial Drive. Authorities eventually transported the victim by ambulance to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital.
Community members took to social media after the accident to share what they had witnessed and to respond about the child dying. A post about the incident on the Facebook page “What’s Going On In Hollister CA” generated more than 114 likes and 148 comments within three hours.
In that forum, one woman who identified herself as Gail Gurnias-Hernandez announced a candlelight vigil in the skate park at 8:30 p.m. for the kids.
“This kid was a really good boy! Always wore his helmet was asked by his friend to take a short cut and chose not to because he wanted to follow the sidewalk and be safe,” wrote the Facebook poster. “Please be understanding this is a time to support not talk about kids at the park.”
Others leaving comments on the Facebook page mentioned their sadness and described witnessing the boy at the scene of the accident or knowing others who did.
“My heart is broken and aching for his mother and family,” wrote a person who identified as Madeline Mariottini. “My son is there every day. He is in shock and had a reality check today. He said, ‘At least he’s in heaven, mom.’ Hug your kids tight everyday. We are praying for your family, little guy.”
The bus was one of the County Express vehicles run by the local transit agency.
The following is the full statement from Police Chief David Westrick:
On July 27, 2015 at about 4:05 PM, Hollister Police Officers, Hollister Fire Department and AMR responded to a collision involving a juvenile bicyclist and a bus at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Verdun Avenue.
The victim was immediately administered CPR and transported by ambulance to Hazel Hawkins Hospital. Despite prolonged life-saving efforts the victim was pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Identification of the victim is pending notification of relatives.
The other involved party, including bus and driver was located and contacted at the scene of the incident.
“The Hollister Police Department would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family and friends for this tragedy.” – Chief Westrick
The investigation is in its preliminary stages. Anyone with information from this case is asked to call Detective Chris Wells at 636-4330. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at 800-78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

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