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Signal Sought for 'Dangerous' Corner : Residents Want Traffic Light at Crosswalk Where Boy Was Killed

August 01, 1986|BOB SCHWARTZ | Times Staff Writer

A petition to place a traffic light at the intersection of El Camino Real and Avenida San Luis Rey in San Clemente, where a 6-year-old boy was killed earlier this week, has gathered more than 300 signatures, a local resident heading the signature drive said Thursday.

The drive for signatures began Tuesday morning, the day after Miguel Palacios was hit by a pickup truck while in a crosswalk on El Camino Real. Miguel's 7-year-old sister, Sandra, and his cousin, Dianna Fajardo, 8, were also hit by the truck. Dianna remains in critical condition while Sandra's condition has improved to serious. Both are being treated at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital.

Mike Razor, 32, a San Clemente resident involved in the petition effort, said about 300 names had been gathered by Wednesday evening. Most of the petition forms that had been handed out were still circulating, he said.

"We are politely trying to ask the City Council to do something immediately," said Razor, an engineer, who added that he has seen a number of "close calls" at the corner. Razor said the petitions would be presented to the City Council at Wednesday's meeting.

Assistant City Manager Greg Hulsizer said he has asked the city's fire, police and engineering departments for reports on previous accidents at the intersection, and on pedestrian and traffic flow.

Akram Hindiyeh, the city's traffic engineer, said there has been only one other accident at the intersection this year--a rear-end collision in which no one was seriously injured--and that there were four accidents per year from 1983 to 1985. Based on those numbers, Hindiyeh said the intersection's accident count is "not high."

Hindiyeh said the traffic department would probably make a recommendation on a traffic light or stop sign sometime next month, after the site analysis had been completed.

Wednesday night, police and paramedics were called to the intersection once more when a report of another accident came in, Fire Chief Tom Dailey said. But the accident proved to be a false alarm--a woman crossing the street "panicked when she saw a car approaching, and ran back out of the way, twisting her ankle," Dailey said. The paramedics were called off before they arrived at the intersection, he said.

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