REDONDO BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Students returned to Parras Middle School in Redondo Beach solemnly, armed with blue and yellow flowers in honor of their classmate and friend who was struck and killed by a bus while biking home with a friend from the beach.
Ciara Smith, 13, loved bright colors – especially teal, mint green and blue. So her devastated friends obliged her as they returned to school for the first time since her death on Friday night.
“Got these flowers ’cause…it’s her favorite colors. Bright colors,” one girl said.
Another girl, who donned a bright tie-dyed T-shirt in white and teal, wrote Ciara’s name on one arm, and “forever in our hearts” on the other.
“I brought sunflowers to her memorial over there, to show she was a ray of sunshine when my life was dark,” she said.
The crash that killed Ciara has put a spotlight on the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Knob Hill, particularly the issue of how the crosswalk lines up with the sidewalk. Police say she was making a turn and moved too far into traffic and into the path of a southbound bus.
“The issue is where the sidewalk enters out into the street here,” said Arnie Boyarsky, who has a daughter Ciara’s age. He pointed out the faded crosswalk and how it does not line up with the sidewalk, forcing a teenager on a bicycle to get in the way of traffic just to get in the crosswalk.
“That’s horrible. It’s horrible,” Boyarsky said. “I actually think the city failed us.”
A GoFundMe account established in Ciara’s memory hit more than $25,000 Monday, surpassing the original $10,000 goal.