Desert Hot Springs, CA//cdn.iframe.ly/embed.js
Mother of Teen Struck and Killed by Driver is Demanding Change
Martín Di Felice
The mother of the teenage girl struck by a car and killed in Desert Hot Springs March 17 is heartbroken, but Patricia Aralleno isn’t grieving in silence. She’s demanding her city take action for other children.
"She was friends with a lot of kids,” says Aralleno, talking about her daughter, 17-year-old Pamela Carrillo. “She was, and I think she still is, a great person.”
She and other friends and family members spoke in front of Desert Hot Springs City Council Tuesday.
“Is that what you guys need?” she said, crying in front of the council. “A kid of your own [to die] to react?”
She says the council needs to add more streetlights, crosswalks and sidewalks across the city for the safety of the children going to and from school.
Mayor Scott Matas told the crowd gathered Tuesday the city already had plans in place to make those exact changes. Coachella Valley Association of Governments has approved funding for a project in Desert Hot Springs, focusing on Palm Drive, including more signals, street lights and crosswalks. CVAG will pay 75% of $2.7M towards the projects.
Aralleno said she could have filled the entire council chambers with friends of her daughter’s. She almost did with a large group standing in the back of the room with signs. Many were wearing yellow, Pamela’s favorite color.
The crowd that gathered Tuesday was in conjunction with a petition started by Matthew Garcia circulating on social media.
"It’s a tragic event when one person dies,” says Garcia. “And it’s even worse when it’s body count. It’s stacking up."
Pamela Carrillo was in a crosswalk on Saturday, March 17 on Palm Drive and Camina Aventura when she was struck by the driver of a Ford sedan. Police say the driver “couldn’t stop in time and collided with the pedestrian.”
Aralleno is a bus driver for Sunline Transit and says she will have to drive by the spot where her daughter was killed everyday.
"This time was my daughter. I don’t want more kids to lose their lives because of that reason,” she says. “They need to be safe."