BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – It should be his last motorcycle ride home from church.
Thirteen-year-old Nicolas Peterson took his last breath on the corner of Coffee and Hageman Streets after the motorcycle he was riding with his stepfather Johnathan Deal was involved in a collision with an SUV on Sunday afternoon.
The Bakersfield Police Department was dispatched to the intersection at 12:59 p.m. and found Peterson and Deal, 35, seriously injured. Peterson was pronounced dead on the scene and Deal was transported to Kern Medical before being rushed to Loma Linda Hospital, where he is in critical condition.
Tiffiny Deal, the boy’s mother, knew something was wrong when she realized that, according to Peterson’s aunt Brandee Coffia, it was taking the couple a long time to get back from church.
“She looked at his location on the phone and found that he hadn’t moved from this intersection for at least an hour, so she went there.”
Deal would find an obvious emergency if it got there, with law enforcement and medical crews everywhere. Soon after, she would learn that her son had died as a result of his injuries.
Since then, the mother has been inconsolable, said Coffia.
Peterson was in 7th grade at Fruitvale Junior High. He leaves behind two sisters, 15-year-old Abby and 12-year-old Emily.
With tears on his face, Peterson’s father, Kyle Peterson, told 23ABC News that his son was a great brother.
“Nic was a very loving child, a very loving child, he cared so much for everyone and the feelings of others,” said Peterson.
Nic has also been described as a tough, resilient being who bravely fought his way through type 1 diabetes. According to Coffia, he wanted to help young children struggling with diabetes when he was growing up.
The family tells 23ABC News that they are grateful for everyone who helped the couple on the scene and appreciate the many who contributed to the family’s fundraiser.
“We thank everyone who stopped to help Nic and Jonathan, and we are grateful to all first responders and their efforts. We pray for them together with ourselves,” Coffia told 23ABC.