Sheriffs’ deputies will increase patrols near Juan Cabrillo


The Sheriff’s Department will beef up enforcement of traffic and parking laws near Juan Cabrillo Elementary School after a 4-year-old girl was struck by a car there late last month.

Melissa McGarry had just parked her car across the street from the school to take her son to class, when her daughter, Madison, broke free from her mother’s hand and bolted into a traffic lane, where she was hit by a car. Madison was air-lifted to UCLA Medical Center, but she did not suffer severe injuries.

Because of limited parking spaces at Juan Cabrillo, parents taking their children to school often park on the shoulder of Morning View Drive across the street from the school, where parking is not permitted. The Sheriff’s Department, some time ago, posted “No Parking” signs there to discourage parents from dropping their children off on that side of the street.

Interim Public Works Director John Medina said a traffic study should be performed of the entire campus area, and he recommended, for the time being, that the City Council limit its response to safety concerns by having additional sheriff’s deputies patrol the area.

“To take other action at this time will lead to a situation that is worse than it is now,” he said.

A traffic study coordinated by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the city and the Sheriff’s Department will be completed in about six months.

McGarry came to the City Council meeting to ask for a solution to the parking problem. She said her daughter will be OK. But, she said, she saw and heard the impact. “I am disbelieving of her luck,” she said.