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Son's Death Shines Light On Lake Street

“We are just trying to save someone else from having an accident on this street.”

A Lake Elsinore mom whose son was killed on Lake Street this past spring made an emotional plea Tuesday night to City Council.

“It’s very hard for me to stand up here,” a tearful Annmarie Devaney told the Lake Elsinore council members. “Our son’s in heaven and I can’t bring him back. Please … put up lights.”

With more than 25 supporters in tow, including husband Chad, Devaney asked city council to make Lake Street safer by installing lights along the dark roadway.

On May 2 at approximately 10:10 p.m., as he rode his skateboard on Lake Street, about a half mile west of the 15 Freeway. 

“The driver of the vehicle was unable to slow…,” according to a Lake Elsinore Police Department report that was issued shortly following the tragic accident.

The driver, whose identity was withheld, “offered full cooperation with investigators and was later released from the police station,” the report stated.

Prior to Tuesday night’s meeting, Patch spoke with Annmarie. The heartbroken mom talked about her son’s community involvement, his high academic achievements -- and his zest for life.

Anthony was an honor student at the former Gordon Kiefer High School in Lake Elsinore and had gone on to Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Annmarie explained. He earned several scholarships as a result of his grades and community service, she added, noting that her son volunteered for activities like the Unity in Community Parade, church functions, and as an Explorer with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

He was also very athletic and had a great appreciation for Christian music that he expressed as a drummer, she said.

“He was so vibrant, so loving, so caring. He enjoyed every minute of life,” Annmarie explained. “I am so proud of my little man, my little hero.”

The driver who struck Anthony was a 17-year-old boy who the Devaney’s have opened their hearts to, Annmarie said.

“We offered to help him with counseling,” she explained, noting that the teen lost his own mother when he was just 6.

Currently, Anthony’s 6-year-old sister and his young niece are both in therapy to help them cope with the loss, Annmarie said.

“I have no more energy,” she continued, “but I can go out there and fight hard. I don’t want this to happen to another family.”

That’s the reason for Tuesday night’s showing, Chad said.

“We are just trying to save someone else from having an accident on this street,” he explained.

City council members sat quietly during Annmarie’s poignant plea, and afterward Mayor Brian Tisdale promised, “We hear you and we’re sorry for your loss. The city will do something about this.”

The audience applauded the mayor's words. 

With that, Councilmember Bob Magee -- who Annmarie said she contacted before the meeting -- told the Devaney’s Tuesday he had spoken with city staff and an “interim solution” had been discussed that he hoped would meet with the family’s approval.

The Devaney’s are now scheduled to speak with city officials to hear the details.

Reverend Smith June 29, 2012 at 10:43 PM
http://youtu.be/k020_1epZNA Here's a video I just shot from my dash goring down Lake Street. Note I let a tailgating pickup go by (with dealer plates) and he immediately speeds to hug the bumper of the next car. This is typical. I drive off the road and hit the brakes to get a sense of the skidding properties of the dirt shoulder. Hard to see, but a dark car makes an illegal U-turn from Coal onto Lake then doubling back to Coal. First street light after coal is where you see the back of the Alberhill Ranch sales sign on the left. No street lighting until between next Alberhill Ranch signs - backs of signs visible on the left. At the 3:47 mark, there's a cross marker on the right shoulder. Don't know which fatality this is in memory of. The cross marks the start of street lighting again. Looks a lot like what they call "tombstone imperative" in the airline industry. Or should I say ABOUT the airline industry, since the industry denies it's practiced. What it denotes is that safety measures are only employed after a massive loss of life makes not employing increased safety would draw economically damaging attention to the airline industry or a specific airline. After those three street lights, the treelined road is once plunged into darkness. Street lighting picks up again at the last Alberhill sales sigh (other side of road - back of sign this way). Lighting continues to freeway.
TRUTHBTOLD July 01, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Diana- $3.5M came from a state grant with the qualification that the City match it... which they did with RDA funds.... the rest of the money came various other sources including money that was supposed to go to the incubator..... remember that fiasco? It's interesting how these grants are so tempting but require City participation. Sometimes not the best decisions are made when there's a feebee on the table.
RED July 03, 2012 at 01:44 AM
First and for most there was another tragic accident a family lost a son .A young man must live the rest of his life with the image of that loss .I have lived in Lake Elsinore for 24 years be leave it or not Lake street was worse . Not one of you were there to know what truly happened that night stop the blame game . There have been too many lives lost on that street .Stop the blaming of either of those boys one lost his life the other seen that life leave this earth may God be with all . The problem needs to be fixed as it should have years ago.
Cat July 03, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Thank you Rev. Smith for posting that video. It certainly brings this story into a better perspective for those of us that don't live in the area.
sam shepperd July 03, 2012 at 03:16 AM
I'd only add to observe the hundred or so lights illuminating the (usually empty) parking lot for the Alberhill park. 1/10 of those lights, relocated to the power poles along Lake Street would be sufficient to fill the gaps in the lighting along Lake Street. There goes the "electricity saving" excuse,

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