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Encinitas teenager dies after being hit while riding his E-bike

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Posted at 7:17 PM, Jun 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-26 22:18:25-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) - Family, friends, and community members are mourning the death of an Encinitas teenager killed on an E-bike last Thursday.

Brodee Champlain-Kingman was riding his electric bike north on South El Camino Real when he tried to make a left turn onto Santa Fe Avenue. He was hit by a work van.

RELATED: Teen riding e-bike seriously injured in collision with van in Encinitas

Friends gathered near the accident site Monday to lay flowers and pictures in his memory.

"He was light. That’s how you could really describe him. He was curious; he was intelligent, [and] he was creative. Every single positive trait you could give someone, you could give to Brodee," said Gavin Barnes.

Friends say Brodee was fluent in Spanish and Japanese. He excelled in math and loved to surf and skate.

He was looking forward to trying out for track and was meeting a friend at San Dieguito Academy to practice when the accident happened. It was a route he took all the time to get to school.

"He’s really safe, he uses turn signals, he’s cautious and I’ve just never known him as a risk taker," said Gavin.

The tragedy happened just a week after Encinitas City Council passed new regulations for e-bike riders. Teens who let friends ride on the handlebars can get a ticket requiring them to attend a bike education course.

The sheriff's department says the city has seen a dramatic increase in e-bike collisions over the last few years.

"A lot of people have been afraid of this day when tragedy struck, and now that it’s here, it’s really important that we elevate the issue and do everything we can to raise awareness," said Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz.

The city is also partnering with school districts to mandate education before students can park an e-bike at school.

"This is an issue of education, and we need to step up enforcement of our municipal code and state law so we have people thinking a little bit more," said Mayor Kranz.

The mayor said the city plans to declare a local state of emergency over e-bikes. More information will be released at this Wednesday's council meeting. Carlsbad passed an emergency declaration last year.

"This tragedy is really the last straw for me. I’m done with sitting back and waiting for change," said Mayor Kranz.

Many of Brodee's friends have e-bikes. They're now second-guessing using them.

"My mom doesn’t want me to ride my e-bike anymore, and I’d say it’s understandable," said Gavin. "It’s probably more dangerous than riding in a car; I’d say with an e-bike, you're totally exposed."

Friends still can't believe Brodee won't be returning to school with them in the fall.

"He was an amazing person. So mature. He always knew how to cheer everyone up and make everyone feel good and how to encourage everyone," said Tyler Shaw.

Family and friends will gather on the campus of San Dieguito Academy Tuesday evening at seven for a candlelight vigil.

A GoFundMe has also been set up to help with funeral costs.

Friends say Brodee was able to save three lives through organ donation.