Student struck, killed by truck walking to school in Delano

Student struck, killed by truck walking to school in Delano »Play Video
DELANO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Wednesday was like any other school morning. Shaylyn Pinoliar would walk to the intersection of Summer Drive and Browning Road where she would be picked up by her aunt and then taken to La Vina Middle School a few blocks away.

And when her aunt, Melissa Pinoliar drove to the intersection to pick up her niece, she couldn't get through because police were already on scene blocking the street. Someone had been hit by a vehicle.

"I just found out that it was (Shaylyn)," said the aunt.

Delano police said 26 year-old Blanca Felix Leon was driving east on Summer Drive and told them she came to a stop at Browning Road, which has a posted stop sign. Leon made a right turn onto Browning Road and struck the 12 year-old girl who was in the crosswalk.

Leon was driving a Ford F250 pickup. Leon said she stopped and rendered aid to the victim. Delano Police officers also attempted to perform life-saving measures on the child until an ambulance arrived.

Shaylyn did not survive and died at Delano Regional Medical Center.

News of her death left a neighborhood and school as well as her family in disbelief.

"My heart broke, I was so shocked, I couldn't believe it," said Evelyn Arellano, a life long friend of Shaylyn.

Grief counselors were provided at La Vina Middle School for students who needed to talk about the loss, said principal Jennifer Townson.
Shaylyn was a 7th grade student, where she excelled academically and in various clubs and sports.

One of Shaylyn's goals was to make the girls' junior varsity basketball team. As fate would have it, the school named Shaylyn to the team Wednesday morning, before the accident.

"It's just sad that she didn't get to see that she accomplished her goal today," said Lesly Rios, a long time friend.

Delano Police have not issued any citations so far against the driver saying the investigation is not yet complete.