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PHELAN ( — An 11-year-old boy was killed Sunday in an off-road vehicle crash.

Zachary Mercier, of Phelan, was riding his off-road motorcycle near Centola Road and Sundown Drive around 11 a.m. Sunday when he collided head-on with another motorcycle, the San Bernardino County Coroner said.

The boy was transported to Desert Valley Hospital, where he died from his injuries at 12:07 p.m.

The other kid involved in the incident was injured, but is expected to survive.

Grant Gratz said he was with Mercier when the crash happened.

“I was behind Zach and Zach came right here and Mikey hit him, and then the way he fell on the ground, he didn’t move until the paramedics came,” he said.

Gratz’s mom, Nancy, said the victim will be remembered as a boy with a big heart and big smile.

“Zach was joy, love, he was kind, sweet, loved all of his friends, was so courteous. Very grateful, very sweet. The nicest boy you could know,” she said.

Nancy added, “No parent should go through (a death), and his parents are really devastated. It’s beyond description.”

The accident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.


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