KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
September 29, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark
The Katy community is mourning after a Cinco Ranch High School student was struck by a vehicle and killed while riding his bike to school yesterday morning. The incident raises concerns and awareness for driver and pedestrian safety at and near crosswalks.
A 14-year-old was struck and killed yesterday (September 28, 2023) while riding his bike to Cinco Ranch High School at approximately 6:45 a.m. The incident occurred at a crosswalk at the 6000 block of Mason Road near Katy ISD’s Creech Elementary.
"Losing a child is devastating and I wouldn't wish that on anyone," says Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan. "In truth, this has destroyed two families."
Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the incident and has charged the driver with felony charges based on the new Lisa Torry Act.
Katy ISD sent out a statement and remains focused on supporting the student's family and the Cinco Ranch High School community.
Katy ISD Responds
The Cinco Ranch High School community is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of one of our students. We extend our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the family during this difficult time and offer them our love and support while protecting their right to privacy. The school, with the full support of Katy ISD, is utilizing every resource available to provide the community with counseling services as we safeguard their emotional wellbeing.
Investigation Shows a Tragic Story
20-year-old driver and Cinco Ranch resident, Devin Delvalle struck the victim when he was on the side of the street entering the crosswalk. According to Sheriff Fagan there were no skid marks at the scene, indicating that Delvalle didn't apply his breaks before hitting the student.
"This is such a tragedy," says Sheriff Fagan. "The signs indicating the crosswalk were up everywhere and the driver disregarded those signs."
Sheriff Fagan says that Delvalle remained on the scene and was very corporative.
After further investigation, Delvalle was booked into the Fort Bend County Jail and charged with Motor Vehicle Collision Involving Pedestrian Or Other Vulnerable Road User Within Area Of Crosswalk. His bond is currently pending magistration.
Why a New Law was Needed
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in 2018 compared to 4,092 pedestrians in 2009
About the Lisa Torry Act
Lisa Torry Smith died in 2017 while walking across a crosswalk taking her son to school. The law named after her was passed in 2021, requires drivers to “stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.” The law results in drivers being charged with a misdemeanor if the individual is harmed, a felony if the incident results in the death of the person struck.
Sheriff Fagan says that the law allows law enforcement to do more in cases like this. Prior to the new law drivers who struck pedestrians on crosswalks would only get a ticket.
The focus remains on the investigation and supporting the family of the student killed. However, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office shares important safety tips for drivers and pedestrians to follow.
Exercise Caution: Reduce your speed, maintain vigilant awareness, and prepare to come to a complete stop when approaching a crosswalk.
Stay Alert: Pay close attention to your surroundings, adhere to all traffic signs and signals, and actively avoid distractions while driving.
Yield to Pedestrians: Always prioritize the safety of pedestrians in crosswalks by yielding the right-of-way and refrain from passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk.
Stop and Look: Before entering a crosswalk, pause and carefully scan for approaching vehicles. Make sure it's safe to cross.
Assist Children: If you have younger children with you, guide them safely through the crosswalks, ensuring they understand the importance of looking out for vehicles.
By following these guidelines, both drivers and pedestrians can contribute to safer crosswalk experiences for everyone.
"This is a very sad and tragic incident on both sides, for the driver, and especially for the victim's family," says Sheriff Fagan. "Drivers need to slow down and pay attention, and that's extremely important in areas that are heavily traveled by children."
The staff of Katy Magazine send prayers to both families impacted by this tragedy.