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Teen's hit-run death prompts Sherman Oaks safety measures

September 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
It was last October that athlete Conor Lynch, 16, was killed in a hit-and-run accident as he was training for Notre Dame High School's cross-country running team.

Now there's a new safety measure in place along Woodman Avenue near Addison Street in Sherman Oaks. A speed-monitoring trailer has been set up outside of Notre Dame High School to prevent more accidents.

"It's unbelievable as we stand here to see that hopefully we're going to make a difference," said Jeri Dye Lynch, Conor's mother.

"There was a kid killed in a crosswalk walking her bike over to Westfield," said Anthony St. John, Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council Public Safety chair. "There was some other kids who were injured nearby. It's been an ongoing problem, not just at this intersection, but other intersections in the Valley, so when Conor was hit it was a big impetus."

Lynch's family started the Conor Lynch Foundation to promote awareness of pedestrian, driver and cyclist safety. The Foundation will hold a race on October 16 to memorialize Lynch and to raise money for safety measures like more speed trailers, lighted crosswalks and flashing lights.

"I do want to, on behalf of our family, thank the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, Westfield Mall and Notre Dame," said Jeri Dye Lynch. "Because these things do not happen overnight, as we know with all the things that are going on with our city. But they did make it happen within 10 months, and I think that that shows how willing everybody in our valley is to try to take care of this problem."

"A life is worth much more than the price of this equipment," said Westfield Mall General Manager Shanna Pollack. "And if we can save just one life, that means much more to us than the cost of this equipment."

Conor's family wants to raise awareness so that his death helps save other lives.

"We need people to slow down, to pay attention," said L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian. "Because it only takes a split-second for lives to be lost and lives to be transformed forever, and we want to avoid tragedies like this from happening again."

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