Tongan boy, 2, dies after being hit by bus in East Oakland

A two-year old boy was killed after he was hit by a bus in East Oakland, United States.

Jeremiah Esera was killed just before 2 p.m. when he chased a ball into the street in the 2800 block of 35th Avenue at Penniman Avenue and was hit by an AC Transit bus, police were quoted by local media as saying.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A person very close to the family of the deceased who wished not to be named said the boy’s mother is from Kolomotu’a in Tonga but his father is Samoan.

Oakland’s East Bay Times reported that a relative said Jeremiah, his mother and his siblings were visiting another relative at a residence on 35th Avenue when the tragedy occurred.

“I’m just so upset,” the boy’s aunt, Latai Fatai, said Wednesday. “He was a very loving, caring little boy,” Fatai said. “He was always happy and he loved to dance and give hugs.

“You just never know what is going to happen,” the Times reported.

The Oakland police department started an online fundraiser for Jeremiah’s family that was nearing a $10,000 goal on Wednesday afternoon. The GoFundMe page, at, was prompted by officers moved by the family’s loss, Acting Capt. Nishant Joshi said.

“I met with Jeremiah’s family. Understandably, they were devastated,” Joshi said. “As a parent myself, I cannot imagine the pain they are going through,” the paper reported.

Authorities said the boy was hit by AC Transit bus 1323, which operates on the 54-line. It was going northbound on 35th Avenue headed to Merritt College when the boy was hit.

Police said there were no injuries to the bus driver, a 55-year-old man, nor to any passengers. The driver, who has worked for AC Transit since 1999, was cooperating with investigators.

AC officials said as part of their protocol, the driver underwent drug and alcohol testing and police said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in what happened.

The incident remains under investigation by police. Anyone with information may call traffic investigators at 510-777-8570.

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