Community Pushes for Stoplight at Intersection Where Teen Was Killed

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Yaneth Palencia wrote a petition to the city’s transportation department in 2005, urging officials to install a traffic signal or stop sign at the crosswalk near Normandie Avenue and 42nd Street in her neighborhood, south of downtown.

The Mota family

Edgar, left, Lissette and Andrew Mota, the parents and brother of 16-year-old Nathaniel Mota, who was struck and killed by a car outside of St. Cecilia Church in South Los Angeles, are pushing to install a stop light on Normandie Avenue to prevent future accidents. (Credit: Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times)

“We note that cars driving on that street, often, exceed the legal posted speed limit and that accidents have occurred in the past,” wrote Palencia, who was worried that someone would eventually get killed trying to cross the busy street.

“I never thought it would be my nephew,” she said.

Nathaniel Mota, 16, died after being hit by a car while crossing Normandie near 42nd Place in September. He was leaving a Friday night youth group meeting at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, about two miles south of USC. Mota flew about four car lengths after being struck by a white Nissan Maxima; the driver took off, according to witnesses. Mota was pronounced dead at the scene, and police have not found the suspect.

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