DEAR WEHO: Horrific pedestrian deaths will keep happening unless things change

Shortly after midnight on July 12th, the residents of Hammond Street were jolted by the gut wrenching screams of several pedestrians followed by the loud crunching of an SUV crashing into a parked car just up the block on Sunset. My eyes immediately locked with my husband’s and without saying a word we threw on our shoes to see the commotion. As someone who has needed to make a 911 call recently, I grabbed my phone and we rushed to the street. 

As we exited our apartment a neighbor was walking towards us from Sunset – eyes wide open, holding in his nausea with fist over his mouth anxiously shaking his head no… We stopped. 

At that moment, we knew the situation was even worse than it sounded. Our neighbor told us that a woman was sprawled in the street, limbs tangled and was almost certainly deceased. Shortly after, another passerby confirmed that a pedestrian was struck by a speeding car. The victim was thrown almost a quarter of a block by the impact. Police and other first responders were on the scene almost instantly and began unraveling the yellow crime scene tape. 

The victim’s friends were shaken, crying on the corner of Hammond and Sunset. Last night was not easy for our quiet neighborhood. It was a sight that you cannot unsee and would wish upon no one.

This tragic accident is not the first of its kind this year and highlights the shortcomings in our city’s public safety and traffic control infrastructure. Hammond Street itself has retractable steel bollards that are supposed to stop through traffic nightly between 7 PM and 7 AM. These bollards have been broken for months. After contacting the city for months, they promised to send a technician to fix them. Their solution was foldable street signs that careless drivers regularly crash over or move without replacing.

This endangers the community of young families, seniors out walking their dogs and party goers who enjoy the nightlife our vibrant city offers. All of whom enjoy walking the quiet streets at night.

When will the city of WeHo repair the mechanisms it’s installed to prevent these types of accidents? Will it finally consider installing additional median landscaping and other speed abatement measures along this stretch as people often drive with reckless abandon.

A young woman with her full life ahead of her had hers cut short. There are small, simple steps that can be taken to make sure no one else has to endure the same fate as her.

How many tragedies must take place before the city enforces the safety procedures its implemented?


Thank you.

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john
john
27 days ago

being that i live on Palm ave.
There are countless times that I hear cars speeding up and down the street, i just Cringe and wait for the Bang of an accident which has resulted in many cars rolling over many times

Rod S
Rod S
30 days ago

I contacted the city over a year ago about the Palm Avenue/ Holloway/ Sunset Boulevard intersection. It is very dangerous for pedestrians crossing Sunset at Holloway. It’s only gotten worse now that Dialog Cafe has extended it’s seating area out into the street, making it difficult for cars on northbound Palm to see traffic on Holloway. And to make that even worse, cars are parking in the red zone on both sides of Holloway at Palm. To me, there’s a relatively simple fix. Use the additional lights in the signal to slow down traffic turning right from Sunset onto Holloway.… Read more »

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
25 days ago
Reply to  Rod S

I agree with you about this intersection having always been dangerous for pedestrians and think your suggestions for slowing cars from Sunset onto Southbound/Eastbound(?) Holloway are good ones.

Jose
Jose
1 month ago

Hey, but they have money for Russian Art Festivals and painted crosswalks!

Matthew Flanagan
Matthew Flanagan
1 month ago

Cheap article with cheap shots

Wilbur Marengo
Wilbur Marengo
1 month ago

even going 35/40 down this stretch it’s twisty turny and you can come up on somebody fast and an accident can happen (which maybe the case here in this unfortunate incident). i work at cedars and LAC in the ER and i’m amazed at how many people get hit by cars every time i go to work. it’s like look both ways is just not a thought people have. I’ve even told some of my colleagues we should add a section in the discharge paperwork as a reminder of how to do it, they laughed sometimes, but I’m serious, it… Read more »

Doheny Danger Zone Resident
Doheny Danger Zone Resident
1 month ago

I live a block from where this happened. Apparently the woman was under the influence, and was in the street when it was green light for the driver. The race car driving is out of control up and down Doheny Dr (my street) and East and west on Sunset. None of those drivers will EVER be able to stop for a pedestrian in enough time. There used to be a “no-cruising” ordinance, but alas…… no chance of that now that we’ve cut even more of our LASD budget. Do the people who approved that even live here?!?! Because, it’s not… Read more »

David
David
1 month ago

I don’t know why we can’t afford the little blinking crossing lights you see imbedded in the street in some places. Apart from outright signals these seem to be quite practical. There are a number of completely un-lit pedestrian crossings here in WeHo and they are really treacherous.

Ben McCormick
Ben McCormick
25 days ago
Reply to  David

Like the ones used at the crosswalk in front of the library on San Vicente between SMB and Melrose? We do have them.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ben McCormick
Rodrigo
Rodrigo
1 month ago

According to this story, the woman was walking towards traffic:

https://ktla.com/news/local-news/woman-struck-and-killed-while-crossing-street-in-west-hollywood/

While safety is always a concern, I see a lot of people taking huge risks by crossing where there’s no crosswalk. Pedestrians need to be very aware. Head on a swivel, I like to say.

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
1 month ago

This is such an unusual report that spins into an opinion piece. Didn’t it say somewhere her friends were trying to stop her from walking into traffic on Sunset? If that’s the case, this was not the fault of a broken barricade. Also, the person who hit her was not cited, so they probably were not speeding.

Sullivan
Sullivan
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Bologna

To me, the point is we cannot do the same thing and expect different results. This is the third pedestrian struck by a car news on Sunset Strip I’ve read this year. Obviously, something’s missing. It’s no secret there is a combination of speeding, alcohol, and possibly lack of measures in this area of the town. LA doesn’t have proper public transportation. So, extra safety measures should be implemented if we want a melting pot of nightlife, residential neighborhoods, and businesses.

Safety 101
Safety 101
1 month ago
Reply to  Sullivan

While businesses in the city liberally supply their customers with liquor in abundance then the city should be responsible beyond normal expectations to make sure that the walking drunks, not capable of rational behavior, are not hit by cars. Additionally the speed limit should be significantly reduced in these areas at least in the evening & nighttime hours. Behavior by inebriated individuals is highly predictable.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

So sad. This city is failing in so many areas of late. Such a tragedy. Deepest sympathy to the woman’s family. This city needs to course correct and get on the right track. To do so, we have to vote wisely. Really look at the candidates. See who is for expanding safety measures. See who has supported fully funding the police all along,,,because a few just got on the band wagon. Vote wisely, it can make all the difference.

Doheny Danger Zone Resident
Doheny Danger Zone Resident
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

100%

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