El Pasoans want more street lights in Northeast after teen dies crossing road

KDBC
Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 11:54pm

A teen was killed after a driver hit him in Northeast El Paso as he was crossing a busy intersection. The crash happened around 8:30 Friday night at the intersection of Dyer and Sun Valley.

People who live in the area told KDBC something could have been done to prevent his death.

Zelina Butler said enough is enough. She said this crash could've been avoided if there were more lights in the area.

“People out here are dying in this intersection because there are no lights,” she said.

Butler has lived near Dyer and Sun Valley for more than a year. She said at night the intersection becomes dangerous for everyone. The main reason, there are no street lights.

“There is only one light over there, and it’s not even for the intersection. It is for the auto shop,” she explained.

El Paso police said Jacob Herrera, 17, was crossing the busy street Friday night when Jason Messer, who had a green light, hit the teen.

Herrera died at the scene

"I guarantee you, ask that man if he saw that kid and he would say I didn't see him," said Butler.

She said she has seen several nighttime crashes at the same intersection.

District 4 Representative Carl Robinson said this is the first he is hearing about the problem at Dyer and Sun Valley.

“I have not received any complaints in regards to that area needing street lights,” he said.

Robinson said City Council is aware of the lack of street lights, but the problem is widespread.

“The northeast needs more lighting,” Robinson said. “We need more lighting throughout the city. It's not just one area.”

He said each representative has about $5,000 for street lights. When they get complaints, they're forwarded to the El Paso Transportation Department and a crew is sent out to inspect the area.

Robinson said now that he knows about the issue, he will bring up Dyer and Sun Valley at the next City Council meeting.

"Yes, we will address that issue on Monday," he said.

He also added because Dyer is a state highway, TxDOT has the final say if street lights will be installed to the area.

People who live in the area only hope that change comes soon. 

“It's not right that I had to see a mom crying over her son who is lying in the street because some driver didn't see him,” said Butler.

Jason Messer was charged with accident involving personal injury or death. According to county jail records, he bonded out earlier Saturday afternoon.
  

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