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Traffic cameras at dangerous intersection come too late for grieving family

<i>KPIX</i><br/>Felipa Pineda's daughter
Felipa Pineda's daughter

By KPIX Staff

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    SAN JOSE (KPIX) — With pedestrian deaths mounting this year, San Jose officials have put traffic cameras in place at one particularly dangerous intersection, but it comes too late for one grieving family.

On Friday, Felipa Pineda stood on the corner of Monterey Rd. and Curtner Ave., tears streaking down her face. Her daughter, Vanessa, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street in her wheelchair on Aug. 19, 2021. The driver has never been located or arrested.

“For me personally, it’s really hard to come through this intersection,” she told KPIX. “It’s taken me almost a year to finally cross this intersection.”

So far this year, there have been 16 pedestrian deaths in San Jose. The latest victim was added to list on Friday after Shea Shaw passed away more than a decade after suffering severe brain injuries in a 2011 hit-and-run. The driver remains at large in that case too.

In both cases, the families remain in mourning and wondering why.

“There is a lot of mixed emotions,” Pineda said. “My daughter was killed here. And they haven’t caught the individuals who killed her.”

Investigators have only a passing glimpse of a white 2004-2020 Mercedes CLS speeding through the intersection captured on a nearby gas station’s security camera to go on. If the intersection cameras had been already in place, the crime would likely have been solved.

It still haunts Pineda.

“I can still see my daughter in the crosswalk,” she said. “Right before she got hit. It’s just, it’s very painful to see that. And being out here where we are, you are seeing people crossing the street and almost getting hit. And when that happens all these emotions come up in me and fear.”

While some opponents to the cameras say they are an invasion of privacy, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo believes they are needed to make the city’s streets safe.

Unfortunately for Pineda, the installation comes too late.

“Our family hopes we can still advocate on other victim’s behalf,” she said.

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