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Phoenix student advocating for street safety after he was hit by car

Posted at 10:54 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 01:54:15-04

15-year-old Chris Lucero is still recovering one year after a serious crash left him with a traumatic brain injury. It happened as he was walking to Betty Fairfax High School.

"I want to tell everybody who prayed for me, thank you very much... and it's thanks to them, that I'm walking right now," says Lucero.

Lucero is now on a mission with his mother ahead of the new school year. They are highlighting the importance of street safety and giving a message to students and drivers.

"To be more careful when they are crossing the street and drivers, to keep their eyes on the road," says Lucero.

Lucero had to relearn how to do most things, like speaking, but even with obstacles, he wants to help others.

"As a mother, I'm proud that he wants to take the opportunity and the step to bring awareness... and we don't want to see anybody else go through it," says his mother Moenay Rodriguez.

Lucero was trying to cross 59th Avenue to get to school. It's now one spot the family would like to see a crosswalk put into place. There's currently none along that street, except at the nearest major intersection, which Lucero did not use. His family tells us he was given the okay to cross by other drivers.

"He was flung and was wrapped around the fire extinguisher," says Rodriguez.

The family says since the crash, Phoenix Union has added school crossing and no parking signs. They have also put asphalt, to prevent parents dropping off kids across the street.

"I would day there needs to be multiple crosswalks because there's an entrance here, there's the main school entrance," says Rodriguez.

They are asking for both controlled and uncontrolled crosswalks as the area continues to grow, bringing more traffic.

"I mean, 59th wasn't always open. It went to where the school ends and you would have to turn," says Rodriguez.

The current speed limit is 30 miles per hour on that street but they hope that can be reduced before and after school.

"My son may never be who he was, I think that's the hardest part of this process," says Rodriguez.

That is why they are hoping for change, as Lucero plans on starting his freshman year over.

"I'm excited to hang out with all my friends and joke around with them again," says Lucero.

The district has emailed families about their regular board meeting this week, where they will discuss overall safety and security models.