Supervisor Janice Hahn Installs New Traffic Signal at Notorious East Whittier Intersection
East Whittier, CA — Today, Supervisor Janice Hahn celebrated the installation of a new traffic signal and crosswalk at a notorious intersection in unincorporated East Whittier. The installation comes just months after the Supervisor demanded action after a young boy was hit by a car while crossing that street.
On Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm a driver failed to stop at the intersection of Candlelight and First Avenue in East Whittier and struck a seven-year-old boy, Cruz Valdez, as he walked home from school with his father and a crossing guard. After paramedics rushed him to the UCI Medical Center, the boy was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where he was treated for extensive injuries including two broken bones.
Young Cruz Valdez, still recovering from his injuries, was able to be at the ceremony where he helped Supervisor Hahn to flip the switch, officially turning on the traffic signal.
"We have a responsibility to protect the children in our communities and get them safely to and from school," said Supervisor Hahn. "It was clear to me that this intersection was dangerous and I know this new signal will make the road safer for pedestrians and drivers alike."
Supervisor Hahn first called for the swift installation of the traffic signal shortly after the accident. Several local residents had contacted Hahn's office requesting a signal and expressing concern that this was not the first traffic accident at this intersection and would not be the last.
The intersection is just blocks away from two schools and is commonly used by dozens of school children during the school year. The installation happened months ahead of schedule and under budget. The signal was originally projected to cost $350,000 but the County Department of Public Works was able to finish the project for $250,000.
The Supervisor was joined by Lowell Joint School District Superintendent Jim Coombs and Director of Public Works Mark Pestrella.