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EL SERENO : Fatality Speeds Up Installation of Signal

The city will install a traffic signal at Rosemead Avenue and Huntington Drive, where a recent accident killed 10-year-old Guillermo Silva.

Residents had been requesting the signal for several years because students from nearby El Sereno Elementary School cross busy Huntington Drive to reach a fast-food restaurant and other businesses, said David Duran, president of the El Sereno Coordinating Council.

The April 20 accident so angered residents that they gathered the following day to renew their call to have the light installed. They also raised $1,200 for the Silva family.

“Guillermo Silva’s death has sparked a community effort to care more for our own safety and well-being,” Duran said. “This is the first time I’ve seen so many people get out for something like this.”

Monica Tabarez, field deputy for City Councilman Richard Alatorre, said the light had already been approved by the City Council and was winding its way through the city bureaucracy when the accident happened.

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“What we have done since this accident is expedite,” Tabarez said. “It was something we were working on. It’s unfortunate that we have to suffer the loss of this child before the signal was actually completed.” Tabarez said she expects the light to be installed within two months.

Although there are traffic signals on Huntington Drive at Pueblo Avenue one block east and Castalia Avenue one block west, drivers seem to gain enough speed in between to create “a lot of close calls” for people using the crosswalk, she said.

Guillermo was crossing Huntington Drive with his brother, sister and cousin about 9:30 p.m. when he was struck by a vehicle and dragged 170 feet, according to police. The boy was killed on impact, and his family arranged for burial in Michoacan, Mexico, Duran said. The driver was not cited, though the accident is still under investigation, said Officer Danny Roman of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Guillermo Silva Trust Fund has been established to help the family with burial expenses. The fund is based at First Interstate Bank, 4900 Huntington Drive, Los Angeles 90032.


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