Walled Lake Western High School releases statement on 14-year-old boy killed while riding bicycle

Justin Lee killed in hit-and-run crash while riding bicycle on Potter Road

Justin Lee (WDIV)

WIXOM, Mich. – Walled Lake Western High School sent an email to parents regarding the 14-year-old boy who was killed in a hit-and-run crash while riding his bicycle in Wixom.

MORE: Community holds vigil for Walled Lake student killed while riding bicycle in Wixom

Justin Lee was struck by a minivan and killed Monday on Potter Road. He was a ninth-grade student at Walled Lake Western High School, which sent a letter to parents Tuesday.

Here's the full letter:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Walled Lake Western High School ninth-grade student Justin Lee, who died last night after he was struck by a van while riding his bicycle. This morning at WL Western High School and Sarah Banks Middle School, our counselors, social workers, psychologists and staff cared for struggling and grieving students and staff who knew and loved Justin. Although today was the first day of final exams at WL Western, students unable to take exams are being given accommodations.

"Mr. Bell, WL Western principal, described Justin as 'a good student who had a great sense of humor, with a lot of friends. Justin was on the freshman football and wrestling teams. He was a fine young man. We are deeply saddened at the loss of this precious life.'

"Local law enforcement officials are investigating this tragedy as it has been reported as a hit-and-run car accident.

"Staff at both WL Western and Banks met early this morning with administrators and grief counselors. Additional counseling and support staff will be available for students at Walled Lake Western High School and Banks Middle School Tuesday and for the remainder of this week. Students who need to speak with someone for support will have staff available to them.

"A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the Lee family. We will communicate funeral arrangements when they are available."

Mother speaks after son's death

Justin's mother spoke to Local 4 after the driver suspected of hitting him was arrested.

"You can't just hit someone and kill them and drive away like nothing happened," Pattie Lee said.

The roadside memorial for Justin continued to grow Tuesday night at the spot where he was killed on Potter Road.

Lee said the intersection is one she'll avoid for awhile. She said the pain of losing her son so close to their home is unbearable, but she's glad Miguel A. Ibarra Cerda is behind bars.

"This is forever," Lee said. "He's never coming back. I'm never going to see my son again, and I don't know how I'm going to live through that.

"The last time I saw him he gave me a big hug and I rested my head on his shoulders. He kissed the top of my head."

Police said Cerda, 21, was speeding down Potter Road near Black Locust Drive when he hit Justin.

"I don't think it was intentional," Lee said. "I think it was an accident."

Investigators said Cerda left Justin to die on the road, ditching his minivan in Commerce Township. The hunt for Cerda ended around 3 p.m. Tuesday when he was taken into custody in Lansing.

"I said, 'Good work,'" Lee said. "The first word to come to mind was justice for Justin."

Lee said she's relieved police caught Cerda, but it doesn't ease the void in her heart.

"My child is gone and him going to jail won't bring my son back," Lee said.

Now, members of the community are remembering Lee, who dreamed of playing football for the University of Michigan.

"A lot of people loved him, and I'll do my best to honor his memory," Lee said. "There will never be another Justin."

Lee believes part of honoring her son's memory is making sure others learn from the crash. Police said speed was a contributing factor.

"It's a wake-up call," Lee said. "You have to pay attention."

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.