12-Year-Old Bicyclist Killed by DUI Driver in Costa Mesa

December 8, 2020 Updated: December 8, 2020

An impaired driver hit and killed a 12-year-old bicyclist in Costa Mesa after failing to halt for a stop sign.

Noel Bascon and his father were riding their bicycles in a crosswalk just before 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 when the suspect, in a rented pickup truck traveling east on Arlington Drive, hit Bascon, throwing him several feet backwards.

“He passed away at the hospital,” Roxi Fyad, the Costa Mesa Police Department’s public affairs manager, told The Epoch Times.

Passerby who saw the accident rushed to help the young child, administering CPR until police arrived. Officers continued CPR and administered an AED (automated external defibrillator) until Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue medics showed up.

The youth was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A GoFundMe page was created on Dec. 7 to support Bascon’s family during the tragedy. Within 24 hours, the $10,000 goal had been exceeded, with over 200 people contributing.

The driver, Richard Lavalle, 59, of Long Beach, was arrested and booked on murder, DUI, and parole violation charges. He was being held without bail, according to jail records.

Kimberly Edds, the public information officer for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, told The Epoch Times that Lavalle was charged with murder because he’d been convicted of driving under the influence previously.

“Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence in the state of California are given what is known as the Watson advisement. That informs them that if they kill someone while driving under the influence, they can be charged with murder. They sign the form, acknowledging that they have received that advisement,” Edds said.

“He was convicted of driving under the influence in San Diego County in 2013.”

Lavalle was convicted of armed bank robbery in 2009 and was sentenced to 35 months in federal prison, according to court records. He was also convicted of robbery in Los Angeles County in 2018.

Lavalle was involved in another incident in 2015, when he allegedly went to a golf course in Long Beach and threatened to shoot people, according to ABC7. Police eventually were forced to subdue him with a Taser.

The passenger in the vehicle, Lee Anna Diaz Murphy, 56, of Artesia, was also arrested. She was booked on possession of controlled substances and possession of unlawful paraphernalia.

The Costa Mesa Police Department is asking anyone with additional information about the fatal traffic collision to contact Traffic Investigator Kha Bao at (714) 754-5264.