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Kaylah's Mom Goes Before Traffic Review Committee on Aug. 2

Family of Kaylah Lentine, 14, who died of her injuries after being hit by a pick-up truck at the intersection of Southwest Highway and Cicero Avenue in May, will ask the Oak Lawn Traffic Review Committee to support making safety modifications to corner.


The mother of a after she had missed the morning school bus on May 24, is set to go before the traffic review committee on Thursday.

Although the accident is still under police investigation, Krista Wilkinson

The driver of the pick-up truck that struck the Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School student has not been charged.

to update the corner to make it safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

The intersection of Southwest Highway and Cicero Avenue is the only corner between 79th and 115th Streets that does not have a pedestrian crossing signal, according to Active Transportation Alliance.

The transportation advocacy group works with communities to develop safer and more walkable communities, has compiled a list of recommendations to modify the intersection.

ActiveTrans has proposed the following safety modifications:

Proposed modifications for the Cicero Avenue and Southwest Highway intersection include:

  • 8 new zebra style crosswalks;
  • 8 pedestrian signals with countdown timers;
  • 2 new pedestrian islands;
  • 12 truncated domes and
  • 12 ADA-compliant curb ramps.

Wilkinson said she has gathered 350 signatures from Oak Lawn and Hometown residents, as well as 2,000 signatures on online petition at change.org.

Wilkinson and her family will present those recommendations to the Oak Lawn Traffic Review Committee on Aug. 2.

Trustee Alex Olejniczak (Dist. 2) who supports the safety modifications, said he welcomed the traffic review committee’s independent review.

“I’m so passionate about making sure that we do the right thing for the family that I look forward to the committee's extra eyes and discussion,” Olejniczak said.

The Oak Lawn Traffic Review Committee meets at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at Village Hall, 9466 S. Raymond Ave. The meeting is open to the public.

Terry McLaren July 31, 2012 at 05:22 PM
This has always been a dangerous intersection for pedestrians and bicyclists. If money is the issue then let's start an Internet fund raiser. While I no longer live in Oak Lawn, I grew up there and am willing to contribute to the cause if it helps prevent another tragedy.
2Happy July 31, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I would like to know how is it that the driver of the pickup truck has not been charged yet?
KMD July 31, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Because possibly there are such things as accidents
2Happy July 31, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Alot of people have accidents KMD, but still receive tickets!
O.L. Taxpayer July 31, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Just wondering what they are raising funds for? Is there a charity? Is it for the upgrades to the crosswalk? I have also followed this story from the beginning and am just wondering why so many people are angered that the driver has not been charged. From what has been reported he was driving in traffic and obeying the rules of the road when all of a sudden Kayla ran out in front of him. What was he to do? This is a tragic accident but why are so many trying to condemn this individual for not avoiding a bad decision on the part of a young pedestrian?
Janice Todd August 01, 2012 at 05:30 PM
That question is do all of us want to make our neighborhoods safe so that kids can safely walk to school again. This is a very difficult intersection for any one to cross. Anyone who questions this should try it during busy traffic hours.
Renee Wilkinson August 01, 2012 at 09:51 PM
The article is about making changes to protect pedestrians from future accidents at SW HWY & Cicero, where 60,000 people, daily, pass through. Many locals stated that they know how dangerous & confusing this intersection is with no pedestrian walk lights. Walk or drive there, & you will see that traffic is literally "out of control". The average speed going eastbound, in a heavily residential area, is about 40 MPH in a 30 zone! It's set at 30 because of 2 schools within 1/2 mile radius. EVERY child & person has the right to cross ANY street, safely, through a crosswalk, at any time. Drivers are obligated to look for pedestrians and avoid them under the rules of the road. Pedestrians are to cross intersections on green lights, with the flow of traffic going in their direction. At this intersection there are so many constant right hand turns from Cicero onto SW HWY that people crossing the street can get confused as they are constantly dodging cars while trying to walk, even if they have the right of way. So, even WHEN pedestrians have the light & "right of way" to cross, they can't! Active Transportation Alliance, with trained engineers, who have changed over 1000 intersections, said that it wasn't safe. Compare this intersection to 95th and Cicero where "tripple posted" no turn on red signs face each direction and there are adequate walk lights with control buttons. No facts about the ongoing investigation have been released by police yet, about this accident, to anyone?
JackiMagi August 04, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Because she ran out in front of him from between two cars. He was obeying all the traffic laws and going the posted speed limit. This truly was an accident in every sense of the word
JackiMagi August 04, 2012 at 01:27 AM
You only receive a ticket if you aren't obeying the rules of the road and your actions caused the accident, this was not the case here
Richard August 10, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Really? Where'd you pull that out of? That's not the law. Check the Illinois Rules of the Road. Pedestrians' right-of-way at crosswalks. (a) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. (b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. (c) Paragraph (a) shall not apply under the condition stated in Section 11-1003 (b). (d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle. (e) Whenever stop signs or flashing red signals are in place at an intersection or at a plainly marked crosswalk between intersections, drivers shall yield right-of-way to pedestrians as set forth in Section 11-904 of this Chapter. (Source: P.A. 96-1165, eff. 7-22-10.)
Richard August 10, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Be glad the vehicle owner does not sue the family for damages. As strange as that sounds, and as tragic as this is, the victim was in violation of the law - he could do it. Yes, it would be sick and twisted, but he did nothing wrong - the kid darted into moving traffic. Blame the parents, not the driver. Remember the "look both ways" rule?
U.N. Owen December 10, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Does anybody find it suspicious that the driver (not saying he is guilty or not) has still not surrendered his cell phone records over to the police? Maybe he is hidding something perhaps? Is there more to this story that there appears to be? If I were the OLPD I would go get a warrant for this guy to release his cell phone records so we can finally settle this so Kaylah and her family can be at ease. I feel sorry for both the driver and kaylah but if the driver was on his cell phone he can rot in hell


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