The family of a 13-year-old child who died after being struck by a car while running across Niles Street in July has filed a claim against Kern County for $10 million.

Alejandro Vargas Jr., of Bakersfield, was struck by a car after he and three teenage friends attempted to run across the street to beat traffic, according to previous reports. Vargas’ three friends noticed an oncoming car and returned to the shoulder of the road, but Vargas did not and was hit, the report says.

He later died from his injuries.

The group had been standing near a bus stop before they made their ill-fated crossing, according to previous reports.

The claim says the friends wanted to get across the street to get to the bus stop.

The bus stop had been improperly placed, the claim alleges, according to local public works and Department of Transportation standards.

A claim is a required prerequisite for a lawsuit. County Counsel will review the claim and potentially come to a settlement with the family.

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(16) comments

The new comment

"Vargas’ three friends noticed an oncoming car and returned to the shoulder of the road, but Vargas did not and was hit" is all the jury needs to hear.

Masked 2020

that crosswalk is a mess...schools, churches, medical......a state highway with folks speeding down from the lake and foothills...they did repaint and put up new signage after the boys death... cant imagine being the folks driving that big pickup through that area...folks shoot through that crosswalk going 50+ mph all the time...that roadside memorial must be devastating for family and friends to see if that is their daily route....just said..... a kid, a family, a driver....

Take action Now

The kids were not using the crosswalk. They were trying to JAYWALK. I do agree with you that CA drivers do not respect crosswalks. I driving east on Truxton downtown along side a driver next to me. We hit 4 red lights and each time she stopped 2/3 into the crosswalk. Where I came from it was a $50 ticket for “ failure to control your vehicle, stoping in a crosswalk” and that was over 30 years ago.

The new comment

Niles Street in not a state highway. I believe you're referring to Kern Canyon Road and Weedpatch highway (184) which intersect at the east end of Niles Street. about 90% of the traffic coming west on Kern Canyon Road, take Weedpatch (184) south to freeway 58 because they're going other places than east Niles Street.

Take action Now

What’s wrong with you people! Don’t you know this is California ?People in this state can do what ever they want with total disregards to the laws. If they get hurt it’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault. Jaywalking,making their own right hand turn lanes, speeding, making non stop right hand turns with a crosswalk (seen 4 people almost hit in last month), No enforcement of traffic laws, mud flap laws on cars/trucks that are jacked up or have over sized tires sticking out 6 inches from the fender wells. Come on people , this is California, everyone can do whatever they what, even if they are here illegally,


Every time a child dies while doing something stupid, parents look at it as an opportunity to cash in. Is the $10 million going to replace their son? No, but it will sure as heck help them forget him.

Inconvenient Truth

"13-year-old child?"

Uh, no.

A 13 year old boy is only 3 years from being licensed to legally drive a 6,000 pound vehicle at 70 MPH.

A 13-year-old boy raised in the western world knows not to run across traffic lanes expressly to beat oncoming vehicles.

Sorry, but the County should be suing the parents for the cost of emergency services this kid cost them.

Take action Now

The parents should be taken to court for neglect. What’s 13 year old kids doing running around. Getting into mischief?


sorry. They aren't properly misplaced. It's a good spot away from the traffic. This is Niles. The street of the Barrio. Nope.


No chance....hope the family got a pro bono attorney.

It's like suing Colonel Baker if someone falls off the bluffs because he built the town too close to a cliff.


The teen "attempted to run across the street to beat traffic" and the family wants $10 million from taxpayers.

All Star

Didn't this teenager's parents teach him to look both ways before he crossed the street?


Streets used to be safe places for people. No child should ever die crossing the street.

What if this kid had been in the crosswalk and struck? There was a crosswalk a short way to the east from these kids (the direction cars were coming from, according to the July article). I doubt if they were in the crosswalk the outcome would have been much different. Faster speeds lead to more deaths of people driving cars and more deaths of people walking/crossing streets. Drivers in Bakersfield rarely respect pedestrian right-of-way. We need to change our street designs and speed limits to ensure that walkers are never killed. As is, we are one of the most dangerous cities in the country to walk, and that's not the victims fault.


jey, agree. bakersfield drivers drive too fast, if speed limit is 35, drivers go 45 while texting! niles street lighting is ridiculous and one cant see the crosswalks before you pass it! east side always gets neglected.


Sorry. That 10m comes from the taxpayers. And it's not the taxpayers fault that a person crosses against a light. His friends didn't cross, which means the majority of the group seemed to know a good idea from a bad one.


You're so very wrong

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