South Bay News

San Jose residents fed up with teens racing in neighborhood

Friday, April 26, 2013
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A woman critically injured when a car came crashing into her San Jose home is doing a little better. Her condition was upgraded Friday from critical to serious. We've also learned that residents in that neighborhood may have a hard time convincing the city to put more traffic controls at that intersection.

The 40-year-old victim, Ping Chen, is at Valley Medical Center. Though her condition was upgraded, her husband tells ABC7 News that she still has to go through a lot of surgeries and the road to recovery will be long.

"Having gone through it all and seeing this before is heart wrenching," Charlene Lennon said.

Lennon's 20-year-old daughter Alyson was killed four years ago, not far from here. Her car was hit by one of two vehicles racing at speeds close to 100 mph. Like the accident here on Wednesday, the drivers were young, and one of the cars was a BMW.

"One saw this cool car driving down the road and he was driving his mom's BMW and he thought, 'hey, I can catch up to this car,'" Lennon said.

Lennon saw the house for the first time on Friday. It brought back sad memories.

"Looking at the trees and the markings and the caution tapes and all the debris everywhere," she said.

The pair of BMW's collided Wednesday afternoon on Leigh Avenue and Anne Way. Police say the two were speeding and possibly racing, when the driver of the red car lost control, smashing into the silver BMW. That caused the car to careen into the house, crushing Chen. Her 9-year-old daughter was buried in the rubble but suffered only cuts and bruises.

Almost all of the neighbors we've met since the accident say they're fed up with the speeding and racing. They say Leigh Avenue, which is a block away from a high school, has become a drag strip.

Virginia Jennings wonders what more proof do you need than this.

"It's not about what if anymore, it is, it happened, it's right there," Jennings said. "And I applaud any help to getting us to change this and do something."

The city put in a yellow crossing and beacon on Leigh Avenue seven years ago. Neighbors say they want either a stop sign or traffic signal. But the city transportation department told ABC7 News that those controls wouldn't have prevented Wednesday's accident. They blame it on bad behavior and reckless driving.

Residents we spoke to believe traffic controls would still be a deterrent most of the time.

"I think they're wrong," neighbor Bob Moore said. "I think they just don't want to put the money into doing it to be honest with you."

As we reported Thursday night, the city does not consider this particular area a designated hotspot for car collisions. And even though the department of transportation has no plans to put any additional traffic controls here, the spokesperson did tell us they will take another look at this intersection in light of what happened.

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Tags:
san jose, children, crash, SJPD, driving, south bay news, vic lee
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