Late teen’s family: Make Oak Lawn intersection safer
BY BOB RAKOW Correspondent July 11, 2012 8:20PM
Kaylah Lentine, 14, of Hometown, died May 25, one day after being struck by a pickup truck at about 8 a.m. while crossing Southwest Highway west of Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn.
Updated: August 13, 2012 1:57PM
A tearful Krista Wilkinson recalled memories of her daughter, Kaylah Lentine, at Tuesday’s Oak Lawn Village Board meeting as she asked trustees to support a series of safety measures at the intersection where her daughter was killed six weeks ago.
“I can’t believe I will never have a chance to have a conversation with her again,” Wilkinson said. “This shouldn’t have happened to her. Why should the choice to walk to school be a deadly one?”
Kaylah, 14, of Hometown, died May 25 at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn one day after being struck by a pickup truck about 8 a.m. while crossing Southwest Highway west of Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn. She was on her way to school to get a leadership award when the accident occurred.
The accident remains under investigation and no charges have been brought against the driver.
Friends and family, many in attendance Tuesday, asked the village to lobby the Illinois Department of Transportation for various safety devices at the intersection, one of the busiest in the village.
“Please don’t let my wonderful daughter’s death be in vain,” Wilkinson said.
The intersection is the only one on Cicero Avenue between 79th Street and 115th Street that does not have a pedestrian signal with an activation button, Wilkinson said.
Pedestrian signals with countdown timers are one of several safety measures Wilkinson and her family support. Others include crosswalks painted with zebra-style stripes, installation of additional pedestrian islands, and ADA-compliant ramps at all crosswalks.
Board members agreed to do what they could to support the safety measures.
“We owe it to the family to take a close look at this,” Trustee Alex Olejniczak said. “I think we as a board should do everything we can.”