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Watsonville woman pushes for traffic safety after mother's death

Watonsville woman pushes for traffic...

WATSONSVILLE, Calif. - A Watsonville woman is hoping to spark change to prevent collisions on Main Street. The effort comes just a couple of months after her mother,  56-year-old Jennie Gervasio, was killed while trying to cross Main Street near Auto Center Drive on her bike on Sept. 11th. Geneve Valle described her mother as a woman with a huge heart, the kind of person who would give you her last dollar. Though, she still has so much pain she said she can’t stay silent about the dangers of Main Street.

Valle remembers the day she lost Gervasio like it was yesterday. Though police haven’t been able to prove it, she thinks the two cars involved were racing.

“A lot of people are saying they were racing, they were definitely going beyond the speed limit at the time of her being struck,” said Valle.

Valle's mother’s crash hasn’t been the only one. The most recent deadly collision happened on the corner of Main and West Lake. Police said a man in a wheelchair was hit. And on Monday, KION was at the scene of a three-car collision also at Main Street, where at least one person was hurt.

Police know the roughly 5-mile road can be trouble, but they hope two new grants will help. The first grant is worth $35,000 and covers education for elementary school kids. 

“Those classes, they really emphasize that regardless of whether you are in the right or in the wrong, if you are a pedestrian and you get hit by a car you are going to lose," said Sgt. Brian Ridgway with Watsonville police.

The other grant is worth $70,000 and has to do with enforcement which gives the department more overtime hours. 

For Valle, the extra patrols are a start, but she'd like to see more. She is collecting signatures for a petition urging leaders for cameras or a possible reduction in the speed limit on Main Street. 

“She cared a lot about people and I feel like I have that in me and I know she’d want that, I know she’d want to help someone else," said Valle. 

If you'd like to sign Valle's petition CLICK HERE 

KION's Paul Dudley has the story at 5 p.m. 

 


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