It's been three years since film producer Michel Shane's 13-year-old daughter Emily Shane was killed by a speeding driver while she was walking along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
Now Shane, 57, an executive producer for "Catch Me If You Can" and "I, Robot," is in a last-ditch push to raise money for a documentary film about the part of PCH that has been called "Blood Alley."
Like many filmmakers before him, he is using the website Kickstarter to ask for donations to fund the movie, which he says will advocate for changes to improve safety along the highway, plus dangerous roads in other communities.
As Shane notes on the page for the film, titled "PCH: Probably. Cause. Harm," the scenic stretch through the city of about 13,000 is notorious for traffic accidents.
"Since I started the campaign, I’ve counted about 15 accidents," said Shane, whose Kickstarter page went up last month. "That's about one every other day. People read about it, say, 'That’s horrible,' and move on to the next thing. Because of what’s happened in my life, I can’t move on.”
The driver of the car that killed Shane's daughter, whose erratic driving prompted several 911 calls in the moments before the crash, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison. Shane sued the state of California and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, but later dropped the litigation.
A section of Heathercliff Road, in the Point Dume area of Malibu, was renamed Emily Shane Way.
[Update, 1:14 p.m. Aug. 19: The film has reached its funding goal. With about 135 backers, Shane has amassed $35,560, slightly more than his $35,000 goal as of Monday morning, two days from its deadline of Wednesday.
“I cannot express in words my joy that this idea, which I am passionate about, came to be because of everyone rallying around,” Shane said. “By stepping up, we can change what people accepted as the norm – countless deaths on unsafe roads. Our friends and our families should not have to fear for their lives because of a road.”]
Projects that fail to reach their pledged funding goals do not receive any money, according to Kickstarter's rules.
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