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News

North Hollywood Residents Demand Lights at Busy Crosswalk Where Local Girl Was Struck and Killed Last Week

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In the wake of a tragic accident that claimed the life of a 12-year-old girl and injured her 10-year-old sister, North Hollywood residents are demanding the City act to ensure pedestrian safety at a busy--and dangerous--intersection.

Emely Aleman and Angela Rodriguez were struck by a Jeep Wrangler "and reportedly thrown 50 feet" while crossing Laurel Canyon Boulevard at Archwood at around 7:30 the night of November 2nd, reports the Daily News. The girls, biological cousins but also adopted sisters, were described as "inseparable," and had been on an errand to get food for Emely's pet fish when the accident occurred.

Two days later, Emely, 12, died of her injuries. Angela regained consciousness, but her "devastated" relatives didn't know how to tell her Emely was gone. A vibrant memorial has been set up at the intersection, and a candlelight vigil was held last night.

During a press conference held yesterday at the scene of the fatal accident, City Councilman Paul Krekorian addressed the community regarding their ongoing concerns about safety at the marked crosswalk. Tuesday's accident was the "third reported accident this year," following four reported accidents there in 2009, including one in which a bicyclist was hit and killed.

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Angry residents have collected 1,119 signatures on a petition to have a light installed. The crosswalk is just two blocks from Roy Romer Middle School, where Emely had been an honor roll student, and one block from where the LAUSD is building the Bellingham Primary Center. The vocal efforts of the locals "have spurred city officials to vow to fast-track a light that was to be installed by the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2012."

The LAPD have vowed to pay more attention to the crosswalk in the interim. This morning a motorcycle officer was monitoring the action of motorists as people attempted to cross the street; moments after he arrived, he had pulled over his first vehicle and issued a citation.

"We're hearing the community and we are going to act," said Councilman Krekorian, "so that hopefully we never have a tragedy like this again."