Safer way to school needed


My children were involved in a serious accident on their way to school on Thursday last week. Gift and Celeste were in the car that was rear-ended by a driver on PCH who never hit the brakes. They were sitting ducks in a car in line waiting to turn right onto Morningview in order to get to school. Gift and Celeste were in the back seat. It is a freak of nature that they are still alive. You would agree if you had seen the shape of the car that they were in after the collision. But it is a simply bad traffic arrangement that caused the accident. An arrangement that still exists.

Five cars were involved and helicopter airlifts were used to transport victims to UCLA Trauma Center in Westwood. One of these was the children’s good friend and driver. My children were left on PCH alone after they exited the vehicle as the driver was so injured that she was unconscious and they were naturally terrified. Gratefully a witness escorted the children to a local safe place and called me. People can be so wonderful in a crisis. Her name is Sydney.

Some remember a girl being killed walking to the high school. Her death afforded a signal at this location they tell me.

I wonder now if this tragedy last Thursday will afford us a yet safer way to attend school.

We have four schools in one block. Naturally there is backup onto PCH by Zuma Beach to turn right. We even have parents who drive on the wrong side of the road up Morningview to get around other cars blindly as there is a hill and one cannot see oncoming traffic. This is a twice a day high-risk environment for students, drivers and pedestrians. There are parking regulations ignored and Juan Cabrillo has parent volunteers out on the road attempting to mitigate the hazards.

I wonder now if we can make some changes that will keep our drivers and passengers and pedestrians safer. With four of our schools on this one stretch of road, creativity must come into play. Some have suggested staggered start and end times of school sessions. Others, at least a turn lane with a flashing yellow light.

I am a simple parent who has found herself here in this spot. But I am willing to step up to the plate. Maybe I can be of help somehow.

Kimberly Riley