FULLERTON : Students' Petition Urges Traffic Light

Two sixth-graders have gathered almost 700 signatures calling for a traffic light at an intersection where two trick-or-treaters were fatally struck by a car on Halloween.

Rachelle Bock and Lauren Sheldon, best friends at Orangethorpe Elementary School, met Monday evening with Mayor Molly McClanahan to present her with the petition.

"I hope something gets done," said Rachelle, 11, who added that many students were upset by the accident at Orangethorpe Avenue and Pacific Drive, a couple of blocks from the school.

Rachelle said she began circulating the petition about two weeks ago, and quickly got many signatures.

Christina Mach and Alice Lee, 9-year-old cousins, were struck and killed by an auto driven by a pizza delivery driver on Halloween night. The cousins were in a crosswalk at the time, but police said Christina, a student at Orangethorpe, was wearing an all-black witch's costume, and may have been hard to see.

The driver, James Shomo, 21, of Fullerton, has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and unsafe speed.

Traffic Engineer Paul Smith said he has recently received many letters from people asking for additional street lighting, flashing yellow lights or a traffic signal at the intersection. Other people suggest reduced speed limits, he said.

The corner is now marked by a crosswalk over Orangethorpe Avenue, Smith said, and stop signs on Pacific Drive.

The city is now making traffic counts and a speed survey, and will present that data in January to the Traffic and Circulation Commission.

McClanahan said she was happy to see the students' involvement.

"It's a statement that says: 'We care,' " McClanahan said of the petition. "I think children need to feel like they are part of the process."

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