Last Friday, the city of Los Angeles and SoCal Families for Safe Streets (SoCal FSS) installed the first "Rainbow Halo" in honor of Conor Lynch, a 16 year old killed by a hit and run driver on the corner of Woodman and Addison Street in 2010.
The Rainbow Halo is an art installation created by artist John Morse who worked along with LA City, SoCal FSS (of which SAFE is a member and collaborator) and Los Angeles Walks to make his vision come to light. He spoke of creating the Rainbow Halos to illustrate the fragility of life and how quickly it can change or be taken away. "The goal here is to cause people to think and change their behavior."
At the unveiling of Conor's memorial, LA City Councilmember David Ryu joined Jeri Lynch (Conor's mother), SoCal Families for Safe Streets and other advocates and city officials to mark the new installation. "Every one life lost on our streets is one too many and the tragedies these families have suffered can never be repaired ... but our road design and driving behavior can."
Jeri Lynch also spoke about the day her son was killed. It was October 19, 2010, and Conor was training with his high school cross-country team. While he was running across the street, he was hit and killed by a distracted, unlicensed hit and run driver. Jeri spoke of her loss and the effect that SoCal FSS has had in helping spread the message of safer streets for all...
"No one should experience the loss our family suffered. Southern California Families for Safe Streets members channel our grief into action to prevent others from enduring the same pain. By honoring those we've lost, we hope the Rainbow Halo project inspires people to join us in advocating for smarter street design, slower speeds and safer behavior."
LADOT has installed 4 Rainbow Halos to date (including one honoring Jeff Knopp, who was killed by a distracted driver in November of 2016 in Sunland-Tujunga) and plan to install a total of 100 across LA City. If anyone has lost a loved one to traffic violence and is interested in installing a Rainbow Halo memorial, contact SoCal FSS at .
I will leave you with the words of SoCal FSS Co-founder, Debbie Hsiung, who lost her 7 year old son, Aidan, while walking together in a crosswalk in May of 2014. "Every 36 hours in Los Angeles, someone is killed in a traffic collision, leaving behind shattered families and communities throughout the city. We know what needs to be done to end traffic deaths, this problem has clear solutions but it will take every Angeleno prioritizing safety to end senseless traffic deaths."
If you have lost a loved one or been injured in a traffic collision, please reach out to SoCal FSS or to us at SAFE Support. We are here to help you through it.
(844) 884-7233 Ext. 803