Jeremy Perez's Death Sparks Outrage

At a memorial, a neighbor says the Albertsons parking lot in North Redondo was an accident waiting to happen.

People from all across the Redondo Beach community came together at 28th Street and The Strand in Manhattan Beach on Saturday to pay their final respects to 7-year-old Jeremy Perez, who was at the in North Redondo Beach on Artesia Boulevard while riding his bike on Aug. 5.

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Redondo Beach firefighters who helped Jeremy that day, policemen, teachers, a school principal, business owners, neighbors, friends, family and came to share and grieve the loss of the little boy.

“We just want to thank everyone in attendance,” Jeremy’s brother Joshua Perez said. “The amount of people here today just shows us how many people loved Jeremy and how many people’s lives he has touched. Thank you.”

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Jeremy was killed in the Albertsons parking lot when a delivery truck backed over him as he was going to visit his mother, Trina Goodwin, who had just begun working at the store four days earlier. Goodwin was in the store at the time of the accident.

One of Jeremy's neighbors, Eric Marshall, is leading an effort to convince Albertsons to change the layout of its parking lot. He offered the following statement:

“I think there is a misperception that has been put out there by Albertsons or the media.

“The media reported that he was riding his bike in the loading dock area which is only partly true because what it doesn’t say is that the loading dock area is where Albertsons forces pedestrians to go.

“If you live in this area and you attend this Albertsons then you know that there is no place for pedestrians to go without being forced into the street with cars.

"If you enter through Rindge [Lane] you have to walk the length of the parking lot where cars are coming and going, if you enter through Artesia then you have to walk through the parking lot and deal with cars entering or leaving Artesia Boulevard, and if you enter through Mathews [Avenue], which is by far the safest and shortest route, you must pass through the outside edge of the loading dock.

“Albertsons put a cutout in the wall along Mathews so that pedestrians may enter that way, which happens to be located by the loading dock area. That seems like a recipe for disaster. Where do they want pedestrians to go? I think that this was an accident that was waiting to happen and something needs to be done to prevent a future tragedy.”

In response to the accident, Albertsons has placed cones in front of the pass through on Mathews and the three closest parking spaces next to the wall, and are now having an Albertsons employee help delivery trucks as they back in with their goods.

“It’s a temporary fix, but cones are not going to stop people,” Marshall said. “We need a permanent solution. I hate to say it but I think that if this would have happened over in South Redondo or Manhattan Beach, that something more would have been done by now.”

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Those who shared memories of Jeremy told of his bright smile and great attitude. His teacher at , Amy Santa Cruz, shared the following: “Jeremy was forever happy and always had a smile. Every time I saw Jeremy, he would run up to me and say, ‘Ms. Santa Cruz do you remember me?’ and I would tell him that there was no way I could forget. He was a very special young man.”

The memorial featured pictures of the youngster placed on tables along with a guestbook for people to sign and candles to light to remember Jeremy.

“There is no way around it, this is a tremendous tragedy,” Shawn Talbott, who is a friend of the family, said. “He was a really cool kid who obviously touched a lot of lives but was taken from us way too soon.”

Editor's note: This article has been edited from its original version to clarify some details about the accident.

Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 15, 2011 at 03:57 PM
G- the truck driver is wracked with guilt especially since he had no idea the child was there and no reason to anticipate anyone was in his way. Obviously poor little Jeremy did not possess the maturity or the fear that comes with it, to know he needed to use caution inside the very busy parking lot. This is why children are not considered legally able to be responsible for their actions until the age of 8 and parents are held responsible for their children's acts.
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) August 15, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Everyone: Please be aware that I am closely monitoring these comments for personal attacks and violations of our Terms of Use.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 15, 2011 at 04:25 PM
Nicole, Not to worry. I won't be back. Waste of time to try to use common sense, accountability, objectivity. Is Jeremy's passing a sad and tragic event? You bet! Did I know asking the obvious questions that are sorely lacking in this article would stir up things, oh yeah. We live in a society where EVERYONE else is to blame and no one is responsible. We also live in a society where communications and reporting of stories mean NEVER any follow up by the authors of the stories. They never investigate, never ask questions which in any way might be difficult for the parties to answer. It shows a real lack of professionalism and talent. It is okay for Geoffrey to shout about Albertsons and how they must be in the wrong-after all they are a big bad corporation! But dare to ask, why wasn't the child's parents with him when obviously he is too immature to be aware of the risks out on the street and wow, watch the insults be hurled. How dare you? How dare you hold accountable the one person of all who should be looking out! I love the fact Geoffrey goes on the attack of me. I point out that I was responsible, that I took my time to raise my children, talk to them, train them about dangers in the world--then refers to me as living some sort of privileged Leave it to Beaver lifestyle...far from the truth. The fact is, I put my children first even if it met working less and making less. No one was supporting me, I just put my children's safety in front of everything else.
Patricia Pearson August 15, 2011 at 08:42 PM
Thank you Rebecca! While my heart goes out to Jeremy's mother, I cannot imagine the horror felt by the Albertson's driver. I have heard that Jeremy was in the care of a babysitter while his mother was at work. Seven-year-olds should not be allowed to leave the house alone......where was the babysitter? Being more than a few feet away is not sufficient....I have been in many situations with my children when they were small....and needed that adult supervision.
Wolfman August 16, 2011 at 01:51 AM
Nicole, The only personal attacks were on the folks that said parents should have more responsability for their kids including some guy named Lopez calling me a fat computer slob and Mr Nielsen trying to put the blame on Albertsons.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 16, 2011 at 02:23 AM
Geoffrey you are being totally inappropriate and ugly. No where did I saw Jeremy deserved to die. Most reasonable parents agree a 7 year old is too young to be out and about without supervision. You resort to name calling because someone DARES to question where the parents were and don't blindly agree with you.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 16, 2011 at 05:20 AM
Amen Lori!! My point exactly. When my children were 7 yrs old we lived in Manhattan Beach on a street many used as a cut off from Aviation, my neighbor and I would take turns sitting outside watching the kids play and making sure they rode their bikes on the sidewalk NOT in the street and NEVER alone. We were not June Clever, we were just attentive mothers watching our kids. It is a heartbreak that Jeremy died in such a horrible fashion. I am sure his mom is devastated. Obviously "Geoffrey" does not have children.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 16, 2011 at 05:29 AM
Again Geoffrey, you are missing the point. No one is blaming the mom for the accident, just asking where she was or why wasn't Jeremy in the care of a babysitter. The only one placing blame on anyone is you. You are blaming Albertson's for the configuration of their store or the truck driver for not watching. And guess what Geoffrey Alberston's does not have "a duty to protect" customers. Besides, the City of Redondo Beach building department et al signed off on the configuration of the store and probably insisted the loading dock be placed where it is. If you ever had a real job, you would know most cities dictate where and how any business structure is designed, configured. IF you were ever a parent you would know it is unsafe to allow a 7 year old out on the streets on his own. Just because you lived in 1950s Redondo Beach does not mean it is still the same today as then and safe for boys of 7 to be out on a bicycle unsupervised. Different world Geoffrey, different world.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 16, 2011 at 05:38 AM
Geoffrey, number 1 Albertson is now aware of the potential for accidents and they are taking the imitative to insure no accidents of this kind happen again (although in all probability they wouldn't even with a spotter as they never happened before) and number 2 I was able to ride my bike to and from school too, but today is a different world. More densely populated, more distractions. Not safe. number 3 told my kids to be "aware" when riding their bikes even if I was a few feet behind them. I was there and yelled to them "watch out for the car backing out of the driveway" number 4 You are SOOO wrong to state "jeremy deserved to die because Rebecca Clever was not there to hold his hand" no where in any of my posts responding to your illiterate and poorly written, slanted article does anyone with any rational thinking skills gleam that from my postings. I am just sorry no one was there looking out for Jeremy. I am sorry he was a latch key kid and because of his undeveloped skills of reasoning was not aware of the dangers of riding his bicycle in a crowded parking lot. Equally I am sorry for the poor truck driver who had the unfortunate opportunity to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am sure the driver has a family and children too but because of this tragic accident is probably too distraught to work.
Diane Naletich August 16, 2011 at 01:59 PM
While I am not familiar with the specific lay-out of this parking lot, I do want to stress that all parking lots need to be evaluated for the safety of all parties - children, the disabled, and the elderly. This is not about a child riding his bicycle unsupervised - this is about community safety. For anyone who dares to question his death - where the heck is your compassion for the loss of his life? This is a tragedy beyond description...I pray for you to get love and compassion into your hearts...
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 16, 2011 at 03:21 PM
Everyone is saddened by this loss of life at such a young age evidenced by the fact it is such an emotional issue. Personally, I think you can save your prayers for me and instead pray for Jeremy's mom that guilt doesn't consume her because she allowed her 7 year old to ride a bicycle around the neighborhood unsupervised. A child of this age is not capable of assessing danger and has a short attention span making him unequipped to know the dangers of the streets in a crowded, urban area such as Redondo Beach. It is MOST certainly about a child being unsupervised and because of that was riding his bicycle in a place he should never have been. Parking lot configurations do not "just occur" the city and every department within have a say on any design of any business and will not sign off until the plans are deemed safe for the public. Your analogy about this article being about "community safety" is like saying a person walking on the 405 in the fast lane is not at fault for his death because the freeway was not safe. Where is the personal accountability? I would not expect Jeremy to be personally accountable for what happened because as I said he was not of an age to understand the dangers, thus why was he unsupervised and left to his own???
Diane Naletich August 16, 2011 at 03:32 PM
I will not enter into a debate when it concerns a child's death. I would expect compassion and sadness not an attack at someone's Mother. I am not sure why you are so angry, but I suggest you pray and do some meditation. Good luck to you....
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) August 17, 2011 at 02:53 AM
I have deleted a comment from Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle due to language. Here is an edited version of her comment: Wow could you be more off the mark Geoffrey? I did live in Manhattan Beach--DID past tense. Right now I live in North Redondo a few blocks away from Albertson's where I shop almost everyday. And, when I DID live in MB, I did not live in privilege with nannies and the like. I lived in east Manhattan Beach. Whatever....your bigotry is amazing. Your slant and playing the "class card" just proves Bill O'Reilly's point, the liberal media puts a slant and spin on everything and is the first to scream bigotry but can't see the same hate in themselves that they accuse everyone else of. The second any of us ask a very valid question as in "whose watching the kids" you make it about class, bigotry and Redondo Beach vs Manhattan Beach. If you grew up where I did in East LA, [deleted]. Thanks for the updated information, might have been nice if you included some of the recent info in your 'article" or like Lori said obituary, because professional journalism it's not.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 17, 2011 at 02:56 AM
Again, you fail to read our posts. No one is placing blame 100% on the mom. i can totally relate to working hard, trying to keep your kids in a good school system, etc. But before you do any of those things, you make sure your children are cared for and safe. All we are saying is the mom is a contributing factor to the accident. Her young son was where he should not be-if he had been at home with a babysitter, this accident probably would not have happened. Doesn't matter what the design is now, it is what was approved when the store was built. Business cannot afford to change designs every year. Much like you would not like government making you change your home or retrofit things on their whim....oh wait maybe you would since you are a liberal nanny cry baby who always likes to find blame...blame big business but never accept your personal responsibility. If you have real information regarding the driver violating travel hours, maybe you should turn into Mike Wallace and do a real exposure piece instead of trying to stir up "outrage". I am so glad I will finally be moved out of the cesspool that is the southbay and living among people with brains and common sense cause you lack any.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 17, 2011 at 03:01 AM
Diane...NO ONE is attacking the mother. We are merely asking why she left the child alone. There are endless parks and recreation programs in the Redondo/Manhattan area. Some are free. There are other parents who could exchange watching Jeremy with his mom or maybe Jeremy's 19 year old brother should have gone with him to the store. For the record, not angry just frustrated with people who lack common sense.
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) August 17, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Hi Lori-Ann, I apologize for the confusion regarding the category assigned to the story. We had a different editor filling in over the weekend, and she categorized the story as an obituary. I have now changed it to read simply "news." I've also broken out the quotation from the neighbor to make it more clear that it is the neighbor's opinion, and not necessarily that of Patch or the author.
Diane Naletich August 17, 2011 at 06:49 AM
I am so saddened by the anger that is resulting in this debate. I expect only compassion for a woman whose son was run over by a truck!!!!!! I do not expect people to judge this poor woman - she worked in an Albertson's - she wasn't out partying or getting a manicure or massage. Please - let this poor boy rest in peace, and honor this family for this tragic loss. This will be my last post on this matter. Thank you..
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 17, 2011 at 07:25 PM
I guess it's human nature to react with anger and start pointing fingers at the person assumed to be the guilty party in causing a child's death. We are all angry thus the emotional tone of this story & the many posts pro and con about the question of where was mom. We are angry about a child who will never ride his bicycle again, toss a ball around, eat a burger, laugh, cry, swim, finish school, go on to college--live life. It is normal human behavior to seek answers to a tragedy. Discussion and debate helps us to heal and no amount of bullying and name calling by Geoffrey will stop me for exercising my freedom of speech rights. None of us who asked "where was mom" were placing blame on mom--entirely. It is a valid question. Common fact all parents know is: children need supervision. If a child of 7 is ok to be on his own why won't the RBUSD allow children that age to walk home alone? This is a situation where all factors came together in one tragic perfect storm and Jeremy was the victim. What I find offensive is the tone of the article which seems to promote and condone a mob mentality against Alberston's and the obvious distraught truck driver. Disturbing to me is Geoffrey's hostile & mean postings. Deflecting the topic of my (and others) posts by assuming certain things (incorrect things) about us based on where we live or lived. Neither has anything to do with the topic at hand, nor does my Irish surname.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 17, 2011 at 07:27 PM
ha...no comment. Think we all know who's "spouting hate".
Brandie Morrow August 18, 2011 at 08:28 PM
wow what is wrong with u people? a little boy has lost his life in what was a horrible accident. the family is not blaming the truck driver!!! however yes the store should have had spotter's if they did this never would of happened, but once again it was an accident. for one moment please put ur self's in the mother's shoes she doesn't need to read what u people are saying about her. as a mother my self there is nothing u guys can say that i'm sure she has not already said to her self. a mother lost her child and many little kids have lost a friend. my children went to school with jeremy, my daughter is jeremy's sisters bestfriend. i can tell u all he had a very close family who did everything together he was not left to just roam the streets by his self. the family only lived a half a block from the store on the same side of the street, it was all of a min. bike ride. please people have a heart and lay off already. jeremy never said one bad thing about a person at 7 he knew the saying(if u have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all) maybe it's time some of u learned that saying as well!!! jeremy was a sweet, loving, happy little boy who adored his family and friends. jeremy would do anything for anyone. this should be a time to remember him not bash his mother. so please have a heart and lay off already. jeremy ur truly missed by all that knew u!!!
Diane Naletich August 19, 2011 at 01:45 PM
This is my last post on this subject. I am appalled by this debate and the fact that women are actually asked where his mother was....How many times do we have to state the facts of this case - his mother WAS WORKING!!! Stop criticizing her. Have compassion...she lost her son. Albertson's has a poorly designed parking lot which took the loss of a child. Young children get run over all the time...many in front of their own homes. This is a horrific accident. Let it go. All business owners have a civic responsibility to ensure that their business operation does not harm others. I know that area very well - it is very condensed with traffic and pedestrians. I know that Albertson's does not want anyone harmed, nor did the truck driver, but trust me, the victim here is that poor boy, his family, and now the loved ones of him. They continue to suffer each and every day as they mourn his loss. I suggest you start doing so myself. Thank you.
L.A. Hulberg August 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM
You can't blame Albertson's over this, it was simply a horrible accident and iNo blame. t was NOT waiting to happen. Most folks know not to try to beat the truck, or to stop in that area. I'm sorry for the family, but...it was an unfortunate accident.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 24, 2011 at 07:23 PM
@Diane By asking the question-a valid one-we are not accusing or making light of this tragedy or lessening the suffering of the family. It is the same question anyone would ask of any parent who leaves their child in a hot car and it dies, or takes their child in a car without them being in a car seat or buckled up. Common sense and a health dose of knowing as a parent you are responsible for your child. I said it before, I will say it again, Jeremy's own school would not let him ride or walk home alone--too much liability for the school IF harm came to him. Parents need to have their children in the care of an adult at the age of 7. Having said that it is not a bashing of the mom. It is a point out of the obvious and stating there is negligence to go around for this loss. If anyone were truly bashing the mom, it would be more along the lines of pointing fingers directly at her and saying "she caused the accident" or "she's an unfit mother" NO ONE here has posted that. Everyone here has expressed how horrible the accident is and how devastated we are as a community. I disagree with our assumptions about the design of the parking lot. Common sense should tell everyone, a parking lot is inherently dangerous and the duty of care by the business owner is not the same as a school or other business designed for children's play area.
Rebecca O'Reilly Boyle August 24, 2011 at 07:25 PM
I have not seen any lack of compassion by anyone posting here.
CC September 01, 2011 at 01:09 AM
Every party involved in this accident, is to blame. Albertsons, the driver, the mom and the boy. Each one of them could have done something differently, and the accident may have been avoided. But why are all you so into this debate? RIP Jeremy, and God Bless your family.
bleu September 01, 2011 at 02:13 AM
He was not riding his bicycle "around town". He lived NEXT DOOR.
bleu September 01, 2011 at 02:27 AM
, it is hard for me to understand you. You have grown children, and are you saying that you held their hands when they rode their bikes? Poor, screwed-up adults they must be. Your assuming that he was unsupervised because that's what you WANT to assume for some reason. I was babysitting. I am a grown woman with an adult child and a 4 year old. And no, I wasn't holding his hand. For those of us who have to live with this loss people like you are simply ignorant folks who don't know the facts. And to Andrea who doesn't like the tone of that Marshall guy, you obviously don't like facts either. If the two of you want to be activists of some sort by all means do it. Being opinionated on message boards is weak and utterly pointless.
bleu September 01, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Rebecca - they HAVE had accidents like this before. You just don't know about them because a little boy was not killed. You are literally making up facts!! And you can't possibly live in my neighborhood because there is a great deal of outrage. Are you foolishly arguing your point because you have nothing better to do?
bleu September 01, 2011 at 02:43 AM
The driver is devastated, he does not have children, Jeremy was supervised and there have been people HIT by trucks in the same parking lot. I used to chuckle at the silly things bored people wrote on message boards. You all make me sad and you ought to get your facts straight before you go on tangents like these ones.
bleu September 01, 2011 at 02:45 AM
God Bless you Diane. Finally, someone who makes sense.


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