Family asking for witnesses after 76-year-old mom of 6 hit, killed by school bus in La Puente
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. - A family is grieving the death of a beloved mother and grandmother after the 76-year-old was hit by a school bus and died in La Puente.
The California Highway Patrol, which investigates crashes involving school buses, said the incident happened on Monday, May 8 at around 2:20 p.m. on Hacienda Boulevard and Fairgrove Avenue. Blanca Arcelia Guerrero, the mom of 6, was crossing the intersection when she was struck by a Hacienda La Puente Unified school bus.
The Medical Examiner's office ruled Guerrero's cause of death as blunt force trauma. CHP officers said alcohol/and or drugs are not suspected to be a factor in the crash.
RELATED: Elderly woman killed after being struck by school bus La Puente
Guerrero's daughters, Yvonne Torres, Hazel Guerrero and Sandy Medrano said the family is inconsolable over the sudden loss.
"The impact was so intense, it fractured her elderly body. It caused her to fall to the ground which broke her skull and she died instantly. Our last memory with our mother is seeing her poor lifeless body in the mortuary but she looked as beautiful as we can remember her," said Torres.
Torres said her mom was a healthy 76-year-old woman who lived in the area and would always go on daily walks. She said her mom was walking in the crosswalk.
"She almost made it to the end of the crosswalk. She just had a couple of steps. Why couldn't they just wait? That second could have given us more years that we needed with her. To her [Blanca Guerrero] unknowingly, it was her last walk she would ever walk," said Torres.
The family said it took hours for them to be notified about their mother. Hazel Guerrero had just left her mother before the crash happened.
"They told us it was at 2:20 p.m. and they didn't call me until 8 p.m. and we only had until 10 p.m. to get to the coroner and contact my brothers and compose myself to relay such a horrible message. She was ripped away. She was stolen because she had a lot of years to come with us," said Hazel Guerrero.
While CHP officers are investigating the crash, the family said the Hacienda La Puente Unified school district has not contacted them about the incident.
"Nobody ever called. The only call we ever got was the call that my mom was dead and that we couldn't identify her or see her body because we had to wait for them to open her body to see what happened to her and we're here to say that's not fair," said Torres.
The family believes the school bus driver should have her license revoked following the crash, and they want the driver to be held accountable.
"The person that was driving, to me, was negligent because they could have stopped. They could have stopped for her," said Torres.
Torres said the intersection where it happened is also "dangerous" and they want safety measures implemented. The family is looking for legal representation to help the problems get addressed.
"These intersections are not safe. There's been more accidents. It could have been someone's child and there's a lot of elderly that live here. If my mom's life was taken away, maybe it'll be for a reason to put street lights or save another person's life. We don't want this to go unnoticed. We don't want nothing to happen out of losing our mother's life," said Torres.
The family wants the driver to be held accountable and is asking for witnesses or anyone with dash camera video that might have captured the crash to come forward to help with the investigation.
The family is offering a cash reward for information.
"We just want to know if anyone can have some information because when you're going through this, you need closure because you didn't get it from your mom or the person that died," said Torres.
The Hacienda La Puente Unified School District released the following statement to FOX 11:
On May 8 at approximately 2:23 p.m., a pedestrian was fatally struck by a District bus on Hacienda Boulevard and Fairgrove Avenue. The safety and well-being of our students, staff and community is our top priority, and the news of this tragic accident is heartbreaking.
We understand that any incident revolving around the safety of our students is difficult for everyone. Hacienda La Puente Unified counseling services will be made available to any students, staff and families impacted by this event.
The District is working closely with local law enforcement during their investigation. We have no further information at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this incident.
Any witnesses or anyone with further information are encouraged to contact investigating Officer W. Benson at the California Highway Patrol, Baldwin Park Area at 626-338-1164.