Child killed on bike: Family shares grief to save others

Child killed on bike: Family shares grief to save others »Play Video
Joshua Jimenez, who was killed in a crash while riding his bicycle Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Bakersfield, Calif., is seen in a photo provided by his family.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The family of an 11-year-old boy who was killed in a crash Sunday night shared their grief Monday with Eyewitness News in an effort to spread the word about bicycle safety.

Joshua Jimenez was hit as he tried to cross Harris Road on his bike.

Family, friends and witnesses of Sunday night's crash have started setting up a memorial at Harris Road and Caracas in remembrance of Joshua. The boy's family is asking for the community to come together, in hopes that their story can prevent other bicycle-involved accidents.

"We couldn't believe it, we prayed the whole time," said the boy’s uncle Donald Luther White.

Joshua was hit by a car while out riding bikes with his older brother and cousin.

White said he was not only the boy's uncle, but his father.

"He was my son, I raised him since he was born," White said. "Every parent should cherish ever moment with their child, take a minute to be with their child. Make sure they know exactly where they need to cross the road when they're on their bicycles."

White said the boys were visiting family for the Super Bowl when they decided to go out for a ride. He and his wife were at work when they got the tragic call.

"The accident is something that every parent worries about happening," he said. "It's something that we never expect. Time spent with your child is very important, because we weren't there to be with our child."

Witnesses said Joshua's 12-year-old brother never left his side, waiting for paramedics to arrive.

"That was probably the really sad thing to see, I think the younger brother or one of the relatives was there, as they're trying to do lifesaving procedures," said Cory Thompson who lives just a few houses down from the crash scene. "I found myself telling my son a lot more last night how much I love him."

Joshua did not have on a helmet when he was hit.

White said Monday that as his family tries to cope with the sudden loss they want others in the community to take that extra moment to talk with their children every time they go out to ride their bikes.

"Where he got hit at is an area that there's a lot of traffic. There is a park with no crosswalks, an area that wasn't lit well," he said. "It's gonna be a life-long loss for everyone."

Joshua was transported to Mercy Hospital, where he died.

The driver of the involved car remained at the scene and police say he's cooperating with the investigation. They also say drugs and alcohol don't appear to have been involved in the crash.