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Whitney High mourns loss of student, 16

By: Susan Belknap, Placer Herald Editor
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The Whitney High School community is in shock and mourning this week with the tragic death of one of their students, 16-year-old Peter Ramirez. Ramirez was skateboarding with three friends when he was killed Monday afternoon after a truck collided with the skateboard he was riding. According to Kelly Baraga, spokeswoman with the California Highway Patrol, Ramirez died at the scene of the accident at the “T” intersection of Ashley Creek Drive and Pleasant Oak Court in Loomis. As the boys entered the intersection, a Chevrolet flat-bed driven by Roberto Peredes, 34, of Sacramento, was driving at a slow speed up the hill. Due to the incline of the hill, neither the skateboarders nor the driver saw each other. Ramirez was struck along with Nicholas Ronzani, 15, who was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with minor injuries to his face and limbs. Rocklin Unified School District Superintendent Kevin Brown said he believed Ronzani has been released from the hospital. “It’s tragic to lose a student,” Brown said. “It’s even harder with this case because Peter’s mother is an employee at one of our schools, Antelope Creek.” Debra Hawkins, principal at Whitney High School said school counselors and a grief counselor from Placer County were on hand Tuesday morning to help students deal with the tragedy. “Counselors have been visiting the classrooms to talk to students,” Hawkins said. “Many of Peter’s classmates knew him quite well because he was a member of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and the same students are in the class each year. His classmates knew him well. He was a nice kid.” Hawkins said many students arrived on campus Tuesday with posters filled with heart-felt sentiments about the classmate they have lost. Several tables were set up at the entrance of the school with butcher-block paper for students to write down thoughts to be given to Peter’s family. “We also had an open mike session at lunch for the kids to express their thoughts,” Hawkins said. “I told Peter’s mom that we’d videotape the school activities taking place.” Hawkins said Ramirez played on the junior varsity basketball team last year and was a member of the school’s Longboard club as well. An account in the name of Janet Ramirez, Peter's mother, has been set up for donations for Peter Ramirez. Pvisit Downey Savings and Loan, located at 3091 Stanford Ranch Road in Rocklin or call 435-1180.