By Sam Adams
Funeral services for an eighth grade girl who died on Feb. 26Â at UCLA Medical Center after she was hit in traffic while crossing Sunset Boulevard were held Monday, March 1.The middle school held a memorial assembly Friday, March 5.
Julia Siegler â14 was crossing Sunset at Cliffwood Avenue to meet her school bus around 7:20 a.m. Friday when two cars turning west onto Sunset struck her, Sergeant Gerald Ballesteros of the LAPD West Traffic division said.
Throughout the day Friday, police were searching for two cars, a black Mercedes SUV and a silver Infiniti, and there were also reports that a four-door Toyota that may have been involved.
Late Friday night, LAPD spokeswoman Nancy Lauer told a press conference that a 51-year-old Brentwood woman driving a dark Toyota Highlander had been interviewed by officers.
The officer said that Siegler had stepped into the crosswalk against the light and that the Highlander’s right mirror had struck her, knocking her off-balance.
The officer said that a second car, a black Infiniti driven by a 16-year-old driver, had then run over Siegler.
The LAPD said both drivers had been interviewed and no charges had been filed against either at this time. Police called it a “tragic accident.”
The school bus that Siegler was trying to meet was held at the scene and the students aboard were questioned about what they saw. Upon the busâ arrival at the Middle School at about 9:25 a.m., Vice President John Amato announced Sieglerâs death to the entire student body. The upper school campus had an assembly at 10 a.m. to announce the death.
Though classes were not canceled at the Middle School, students were given the option of calling their parents and going home. All middle school athletic contests and practices were cancelled. Ten Peer Support leaders traveled to the lower campus along with Chaplain Father J. Young and psychologists Sheila Siegel and Luba Bek for grief counseling.
On the evening of Friday, Feb. 26, more than 150 students gathered at the intersection of Cliffwood and Sunset for a vigil in Siegler’s memory. The placed candles and flowers at the scene.
Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts remembered Siegler as “a talented and thoughtful student, a wonderful friend to many, and an ebullient presence in all situations” in an e-mail sent to parents.