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Community Grieving Loss of Manhattan Beach Teen

Counselors are at Mira Costa today. Says one: Mason Zisette's death has "ripped us apart."

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Grief counselors were on hand today at Mira Costa High School, where students in summer classes were coping with the death of a classmate whose head struck a freeway overpass while he was standing on the top deck of a tour bus.

Mason Zisette, 16, of Manhattan Beach, was standing on the double-decker bus around 7:45 p.m. Thursday while it was being driven south on the San Diego (405) Freeway at the Arbor Vitae Street overcrossing in El Segundo. According to the California Highway Patrol, the Starline Tours bus was being driven at about 45 mph when Zisette's head struck the overpass.

He died at 5:23 p.m. Saturday at Harbor UCLA Medical Center.

Zisette was the son of former tennis pro Matt Zisette, and he was on the varsity tennis team at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, where he had just finished his sophomore year.

News of the accident spread quickly among Mira Costa students over the weekend thanks to social media sites.

"There are a lot of Facebook and Instagram posts saying, you know, 'We love you, Mason,' and 'We miss you,"' a Mira Costa student told reporters at the campus.

"There's a lot of people saying, like, rest in peace and posting pictures about him and stuff, so it's kind of depressing to see all those pictures about him," student Danielle Williams told ABC7. "... I remember seeing him on the last day of school, and I didn't even say goodbye to him and I wish I had, because I didn't even know that that could really happen."

The station reported that dozens of students went to the hospital Saturday, and Zisette's family let each of them visit with him briefly before he was taken off life-support.

KNX Radio tweeted that a grief counselor on campus said Zisette's death has "ripped us apart."

--City News Service

Patch Editor Penny Arévalo contributed to this report.


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