SANTA MONICA—A traffic collision on Sunday, May 10 left a 16-year-old dead and his 20-year-old companion in critical condition. A press release from the Santa Monica Police Department stated that the teen had been driving his scooter against a red light when he and his adult male friend were subsequently hit by a car.
The identity of the young scooter driver is that of Leo Castillo, a freshman at Santa Monica High School. Lieutenant Richard Lewis of the SMPD confirmed with the Canyon News that Castillo did not have a license to drive the scooter. Lewis also indicated that neither the driver nor passenger of the scooter was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident.
The incident occurred a little before 9 p.m. at the intersection of 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard. The young scooter driver had been traveling northbound on 26th Street before being struck by a westbound car at Olympic Boulevard.
The driver of the vehicle was a 73-year-old man from Los Angeles who SMPD say was unable to avoid hitting Castillo due to him running the red light.
Castillo later died of his injuries at a local hospital while his passenger remains in critical condition at a local trauma center. Lt. Lewis stated that it is still “under investigation” whether or not the scooter riders were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The driver of the car was not injured and police have confirmed that he was sober at the time of the crash. After cooperating with the investigation and undergoing a formal interview, the man was released until further investigation. A GoFundme page has been set-up for Castillo to help with burial costs for the family.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Investigator Jason Olson at (310) 458-8954 or Sergeant Phillbo Rubish at (310) 458-8950 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.00, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from your mobile, or by visiting their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000.00 reward by Crime Stoppers.