By Sarah Sikandar
Signal Staff Writer
The woman who died Wednesday following a motorcycle crash at the Valencia Town Center has been identified by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner as Maribel Espitia, aged 27, from Los Angeles.
Espitia was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. She was learning to ride a motorcycle with four other adults in their 20s, and died after she lost control and plunged from the third floor of a parking structure at Valencia Town Center, according to law enforcement officials.
Early reports said that Espitia was performing stunts along with her friends, who were not professional stunt people. However, upon investigation sheriff’s deputies learned that Espitia didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle.
“It looks like she was trying to learn to ride the bike, and that’s when she hit the wall and jumped over,” said Deputy Natalie Arriaga, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Espitia’s friend Destiny Gonzalez to raise money to cover Espitia’s funeral and memorial expenses. More than $15,000 has already been raised with nearly 200 donations as of Thursday afternoon. The GoFundMe page can be found at bit.ly/3Bc68wl.
“My best friend Maribel Espitia was in a tragic accident and lost her life,” Gonzalez said on the page. “Anyone who knew or met Maribel knew that she was an exceptional person who you only meet once in a lifetime. Words itself can’t even describe how pure and kind-hearted she was. She left us all way too soon.”
Gonzalez added: “Anything can be donated to help with her funeral cost or other expenses would greatly be appreciated. All donations will be given to her parents Susana and Sergio Espitia.”