Albuquerque mom petitions for change at intersection where 12-year-old died

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An Albuquerque mom whose student also attends Cleveland Middle School, isn’t sitting idly by after Justine Almuina’s death.

She’s calling on a city councilor to change the dangerous intersection where the 12-year-old died Thursday.

It’s a busy intersection that’s made busier by the students who attend Cleveland Middle School, coming and going every day.

“I was concerned and I didn’t sleep on Thursday night after it happened, and I just knew that we needed to do something to move forward from this tragedy,” said Chrystal Copeland.

After Justine was killed while crossing Louisiana, just south of Montgomery, Copeland decided changes are needed at the intersection.

“Something must be done to make this crosswalk more visible to the drivers,” she said.

So Copeland started a petition online.

She’s appealing to City Councilor, Diane Gibson, to get the ball rolling on bringing better safety measures to the intersection, before someone else is killed.

“I would like a push button that would stop traffic so that students can cross the street safely,” Copeland said.

An example is the ‘HAWK’ signal, which has been installed in other parts of Albuquerque.

Right now, Louisiana at Natalie only has a very faded white crosswalk.

The flashing school zone lights only go off at certain times of the day, and police say the lights were not on when Justine was hit because it was after school hours.

Councilor Gibson says she appreciates the community being proactive and says she’s already made a few calls.

“We have a problem there. We want to look at the problem and we’re going to work with APS to find a solution,” said Councilor Gibson.

Councilor Gibson says the city will look at all the possible options for fixing the intersection, and she’s going to try to bring change as quickly as possible.

The petition is asking for 2,500 signatures and in only two days, it’s garnered more than 2,000.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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