Hundreds turned out in Discovery Bay Monday night for an emotional vigil to a 12-year-old middle school student killed that morning while he was riding his bike to school.
At the memorial at Timber Point Elementary School, friends and teachers described Burgess Hu as having a brilliant smile that matched his brilliant mind.
“He had such an amazing light. First thing all of us said was he would be that student to go on and cure cancer,” said Erika Parlog, Hu's 4th and 5th grade teacher.
Hu, a Discovery Bay resident, was riding his bike when he was fatally struck at 7:48 a.m. at Byron Highway and Hoffman Lane, CHP Sgt. Diana McDermott said.
According to CHP, a mother had dropped off several children at Excelsior Middle School – where Hu was enrolled -- and was pulling away when she heard a bump under her black GMC Yukon.
Thinking she may have struck a ball, the woman got out of her car and found Hu trapped under her vehicle.
Friends of Hu at Monday night’s vigil told KTVU that the 7th grader was a Boy Scout who rode his bike to school every day and the fact that he was killed doing what he did every morning was difficult to accept.
“It was really shocking to hear he's gone. It was shocking to all of us,” said one student who wished not to be identified.
One friend, Jesse Souza, told KTVU that Burgess was always there to help when he struggled with school
“If you needed help with anything. If anybody needed help with anything, he'd be the one to be there for you,” said Souza.
Some community members offered forgiveness to the mother who drove the vehicle that killed Hu after dropping off her own children at school, telling the vigil’s crowd “Give them a hug. Tell them you know it's an accident and they're completely forgiven.”
“It's very difficult. We live in a very small town. We're all very close,” said Andrea Doig, a parent.
To help the community heal, parents told KTVU that there would be another vigil Tuesday night.
“Asmuch as we'll love Burgess, we also have to worry about the families who are left behind and the students who are left behind who loved him as much as we did,” said Parlog.
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