Montevideo Elementary School, where he attended fifth grade, backs up against the Iron Horse Trail. He lived just off the recreational roadway used by bicyclists, joggers and others.
But after school Friday, within eyesight of his home, Daniel and his bike collided with a private shuttle bus. Daniel was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
On Monday, the community mourned Daniel, and a growing memorial of flowers, balloons and gifts marked the spot near where the accident took place.
Classmate Olivia Quadros didn't know Daniel well, but Monday she added flowers and a letter to the memorial, where teddy bears, bunnies and other stuffed animals have taken up residence.
"I think it's important to show sympathy for the family," she said.
Montevideo Elementary, like the rest of the schools in the San Ramon Valley school district, is on spring break this week. But Principal Sharon Keeton and district spokesman Terry Koehne were there Monday working on a plan to help deal with parents' questions.
Keeton said news of the accident spread immediately and the school e-mailed letters to fifth-graders and their families Friday.
"A lot of kids saw this," she said. Parents were driving by."
Another e-mail was sent to the entire school Monday, along with tips and resources for help. Koehne said a crisis team will be there when school resumes Monday, to
Keeton said Daniel attended her school since first grade and loved reading books.
"We all know him. I think you might find him not paying attention in class, reading a book," she said.
She said Friday was Colonial Day and fifth-graders dressed up and did other activities from America's early days, such as dipping candles and making dolls from corn husks.
"It's a really, really fun day and Daniel had a great day," she said.
Donna Potter, a Montevideo parent who walked by the memorial on Monday with her son and one of his friends, said she is constantly telling her children about traffic safety in the neighborhood. She said drivers entering Montevideo Drive off of Vera Cruz Drive, where the accident occurred, have a hard time seeing westbound traffic.
"You have to creep out to make sure nobody's there," she said. "You have to creep out and turn the corner."
Keeton said many students ride bikes to school and that the neighborhood, which can seem a maze of residential streets insulated from traffic, is safe. But traffic safety is a constant lesson to be learned.
A bike safety assembly was planned for later this year before students take off for the summer.
"I guess maybe it should have been before spring break," she said, wiping away tears. "The only place he had to cross the street was Vera Cruz, where he got hit."
The 3:30 p.m. Friday accident happened as Daniel was headed east on Montevideo Drive. It forms a T-intersection with Vera Cruz Drive at that point, which connects with Montevideo Drive from the north. Police said a shuttle owned by MV Transportation Inc. and driven by Maria Martinez was headed south on Vera Cruz and making a right turn to go west when the accident happened.
Daniel was wearing a helmet and was going the opposite way of traffic, said San Ramon police Sgt. Mike Boehrer.
The driver has given a blood sample, which is being tested. There have been no citations or arrests, and the accident remains under investigation, Boehrer said.
Staff Writer Sophia Kazmi contributed to this report. Eric Louie covers education. Reach him at 925-847-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.