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Vigil held for mom and son killed walking to school - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Vigil held for mom and son killed walking to school

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TUCSON – About 30 people attended a vigil at the crosswalk where a mother and son were killed walking to school.

Wednesday morning Anna Mentzer was walking her son, Ethan, to St. Cyril of Alexandria School near Pima Street and Swan Road. They were struck in a marked crosswalk.

Evren Sonmez is the program manager for Living Streets Alliance, an organization that advocates for bicyclist and pedestrian safety. She helped organize Thursday’s vigil.

“It's absolutely tragic, and at the same time it's unacceptable and preventable,” Sonmez said. “We don't need to lose our loved ones to traffic crashes.”

Tucson City council Member Steve Kozachik said Living Streets Alliance is working with city staff to make roads safer.

“My hope is that we create a policy at the city level that when we are doing roadway construction, roadway design, that we are considering more than simply how do we move cars,” Kozachik said. “It's how do we move cars in the safest manner so that everybody's interests are taken into consideration?”

St. Cyril’s principal, Ann Zeches stopped by the vigil.

“Part of our faith helps us certainly through this,” Zeches said. “And we are holding on and taking care of everyone, doing everything we can for faculty, staff, parents. We certainly had the grief counselors in again today. Many of our students have been there.”

24 pedestrians have been killed on Tucson roads this year. There were 11 at this time last year.

“Anyone who claims that they know exactly what is going on would probably be a little bit speculating,” Sonmez said. “So I hesitate to say why it's increased so much.”

An online fundraiser raised almost $37,000 for the family as of Thursday night.

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