Families and communities across the country, including locally in Southern California, gathered Sunday to honor those killed on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
Held annually on the third Sunday in November, the event shines a light not just on the victims, but on the families and friends devastated by the loss of their loved ones. It’s also a time for safety advocates to speak out and call for changes they believe will save lives.
The grieving family of 24-year-old Taylor Jackson who lost her life in a crash in Los Angeles, came out to Huntington Beach, the young woman’s favorite place, to observe the day.
“I want justice for my baby. She didn’t deserve a brutal ending,” Mia Cota, the 24-year-old’s mother, told KTLA’s Jennifer McGraw. “You have no idea how many lives you have destroyed, you have altered, you have ruined in taking my baby.”
Down the street from where Jackson was killed, 66-year-old Bibiana Retana Sosa was hit and killed in the crosswalk. The driver never stopped.
“In the last two months, we’ve had three incidents right on this very street, but the individuals aren’t stopped to either see what they hit or to render aid or anything. They just take off and hope they don’t get caught,” Glen Brown, who lives in the neighborhood, said.
In Malibu, ghost tires create a shrine of remembrance for the 58 people hit and killed since 2010 on a dangerous 21-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway, with each tire representing the loss of life, including the four Pepperdine students who were killed late last month when a speeding driver lost control of his car and crashed, killing the young women.
“It’s been the worst month of my life,” a friend of the four victims, Bridget Thompson, told KTLA. “These girls were literally my everything. I did everything with them. I went everywhere with them. I’m just feeling, if anything, mostly everything right now, seeing these 58 tires here knowing that my girls didn’t have to die.”
The families of those victims are working to get the speed limit lowered on PCH.
At the same time, multiple cities and counties are working to make streets safer for pedestrians.