Big changes made to landscaping where boy died

Credit: Eric Turner/KTVB

Big changes made to landscaping where boy died

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by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 12:04 PM

MERIDIAN -- A Meridian subdivision has undergone some big changes just weeks after a traffic accident claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy. It's been almost a month since Will Passero died in the Lochsa Falls subdivision.

He was riding his bike in a crosswalk when a woman driving an SUV, hit and killed him. Police are still investigating what happened and at this point the driver has not been cited. But changes are being made to that subdivision near Ten Mile and McMillan roads.

It has been four weeks since the accident and the vigil for Will Passero still stands - stuffed animals hanging from trees. While that has stayed the same, the landscaping in this area has gone through a lot of changes.

In a subdivision where kids are everywhere, being able to see where they are is very important.

"Obviously there's a lot of kids in this community and so I think you have to be careful anytime you're driving through any community," said Derek Hewko, who brought his two kids to the subdivision's park.

That's why the Ada County Highway District issued a demand letter to the Lochsa Falls Homeowner's Association telling them to cut back the landscaping around a roundabout.

"It's nice. It's a great change,” said Tammy Vincent. “I'm sad that it took something tragic to make it happen.”

Her son was friends with Will Passero and she was at the scene of the accident moments after it happened.

The accident spurred a lot of discussion about the safety of the entrances and the exits to the roundabout. The day after the accident, ACHD and Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd surveyed the area. Three weeks later - changes were made.

"It's sad to see it go but everybody is very grateful it's gone, because before it was very difficult to see around that roundabout," said Lindsay Clarke, who brought her nieces and nephews to the park.

Bushes and trees have been reduced to stumps. Shrubs are several feet smaller.

"You can just see the big picture better and we can see more clearly just when cars are coming," said Lori Heemeyer, who was walking her three kids near where the accident happened.

These parents hope that the changes and greater awareness will help them not only remember Will, but prevent more accidents in the future.

"Anytime they make improvements like that through safety, you're always going to feel safer," said Hewko.

With the changes made already to this intersection, there were talks about whether stop signs would be needed here as well, but after reviewing the traffic there are no plans to put in stop signs.

There will be a fun run Saturday morning in honor of Will Passero. It begins and ends at Rocky Mountain High School. The run starts at 8 a.m.

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