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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Woman fatally injured while crossing Silver Lake street *

A 23-year-old woman died after she was struck by a car as she walked across Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake. The woman was walking outside of a crosswalk when she was hit by a car traveling westbound at about 10:30 p.m., according to Sgt. Gregory Hoyte with the LAPD’s Central Traffic Bureau. The victim died at a hospital, Hoyte said.  The driver of the vehicle, who remained on the scene, did not show any evidence of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. No arrests have been made, Hoyte said. He did not have an exact location of the accident but one Eastsider reader reported that police had blocked off Rowena at West Silver Lake Drive.

* Update on April 1: The victim has been identified as Ashley Sandau. The Eastsider


64 comments

  1. I saw the aftermath from the Edendale. I pray she is ok.

  2. Happened right outside Edendale. Was there and came out after it happened. Valet at Edendale saw it.

  3. I live near by and heard the action. As many others who frequent that area know, people often dart across that section of Rowena. I’m unsure of how something like this could truly be prevented on that particular stretch of road, other than the obvious, which is do walk to the intersection of West Silverlake to cross, but I realize how inconvenient that can be.

    Really unfortunate this happened.

  4. Very unfortunate. But yes, you can’t jaywalk and dart out into traffic — that’s why crosswalks are there. Dart out and jaywalk on any street and this could happen, but that’s a major thoroughfare. But fault doesn’t change how tragic it is.

    • Wow…I only had to read 5 comments until I found one blaming the victim. Sad, but predictable for this town.

    • Nice for you to have this on there right away. It is hard enough on our family without some nice person slamming my cousin. Keep comments like this to yourself longer next time. Thank you.

  5. Wow who cares if she was in a damn crosswalk or not it’s called driving defensively keep an eye out for stuff like that…she was one of my friends and it was a tragedy because her dad was right there and saw the whole thing happen…have a heart people!!

  6. I live across the street from the Edendale Grill and have watched the area deteriorate steadily over the past few years (especially on weekends). At night: constant illegal u-turns, jay walking, illegal parking/no parking and loud/drunk customers stumbling around the area. Stepping over vomit on the sidewalk is a regular occurrence on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Either their food is rotten or they are serving too much alcohol to their customers. Obviously I cannot be sure if this young woman was coming or going, drunk or not, but this business is raking in a lot of dough and not paying much attention to their customers or neighbors. What can we do about an irresponsible business like that?

    • So the restaurant is to blame for someone jaywalking and a driver that maybe could have been driving a little more carefully? Really? Glad I don’t live near you, Timbo – you sound like an 80 year old man yelling at kids to get off your lawn.

      • this is not about you and where you live, this is about a woman who lost her life and a mother and father who lost their daughter…grow up dude

  7. This bums me out. As a transplanted NYer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this in Manhattan. People just darting out and totally forgetting where they are, or not looking before crossing (especially since iPODS/iPHONES came out). Please folks, we don’t want to lose any of you. Slow down and use the crosswalk. That extra 2 mins it takes could save another 50 years of your life.

  8. I was there last night and live in the neighborhood. Its very hard to navigate that stretch of street especially when people are speeding by, and most often you have to park on that side of the street where she was hit. And its very dark. The restaurant could along with there parking staff warn people not to cross there and use the crosswalk! Walking out and seeing that scene last night was awful. Very sad for this family and her friends.

  9. Another thing…not to entirely blame the Edendale. The city put up a hundred worthless parking meters up and down this section of Rowena a couple years ago, then updated them last month with the credit card swipers–and no one uses them during the day. The meters are nothing but a punitive blight for residents and generate no revenue from the majority of the area’s business patrons (Edendale’s mostly a late night business). I bet we could have gotten a crosswalk with a light for a fraction of the cost of those meters. It is a long distance between W. Silver Lake and Glendale, and if it’s enough of a “business” area to install parking meters, it’s enough for a damn cross-walk. The police need to patrol this area also, and start issuing speeding tickets and jay-walking tickets. I’ve never once seen a cop pull someone over here where half the traffic is doing 55 in a 35 zone at any time of day.

    • Right. The street is dark, fast and not pedestrian friendly. There are measures that can be taken to improve the street which would make crossing more safe.

      • It wasn’t a matter of not being pedestrian friendly. It was a matter of a pedestrian bolting out in midblock in the dark rather than taking the pedestrian-friendly crosswalk at the corner. The corner crosswalk IS pedestrian-friendly — use it!

        • This street is not pedestrian or bicycle friendly. There are very basic safety measures that can be taken to improve visibility, slow down traffic and provide safer and more crosswalks for pedestrians. Sadly, this kind of accident is preventable.

        • The street is very unfriendly to pedestrians… one only need to walk it once or twice to realize that. For starters, neither of the next two closest crosswalks are signalized or painted (Rokeby, Auburn). Additionally, the intersection further down the road at Glendale has had one of the crosswalks removed/omitted by LADOT. And let’s not overlook the questionable safety of the posted speed limit (35mph) on such a dark, narrow and windy stretch of this mixed residential/commercial corridor.

          Perhaps if traffic had been calmed prior to Saturday night, and cars were moving at 25-30mph around such a dark curve, the driver may have had more time to react and the victim may have survived the collision.

  10. This is a tragedy, one of many which all Silver Lake residents have witnessed on the mini-highway that is Rowena. But it’s also completely foreseeable, considering the configuration and speed limit of the street.

    I might remind all those who complained about the possibility of implementing the Rowena Road Diet that pedestrian safety was a big part of the plan. Sure, accidents like this would still be possible – but they would be alot less likely with one lane of auto traffic in each direction and a center turning lane which also serves as a ‘waiting area’ for pedestrians stuck between cars going both ways.

    Rowena is not just a means of getting to and from the freeway – it’s also a residential street, and one with businesses, restaurants, and bars. Accidents like this will continue to happen until very real safety concerns are addressed.

    • Again, when a pedestrian flaunts the safety rules and pedestrian-friendly crosswalks, you can’t say it is not pedestrian-friendly! You are ignoring the facts of this accident.

      All your “road diet” will do it ENCOURAGE more pedestrians to dart out in traffic lanes, endangering them, and cause more drivers to try anything — including stupid and dangerous things — to get moving along rather than stuck in backed up traffic jammed into a single lane.

      If a pedestrian isn’t going to follow any of the pedestrian-friendly things in place, such as crosswalks where they can be seen, then the pedestrian-friendly things are not going to work — whether a road diet or anything else. You simply can’t dart out in midblock and in the dark.

      • Blaming pedestrians is simply unfair. The city has massively tipped the scales in favor of speeding cars throughout much of our neighborhood, by removing/omitting convenient street crossings, and converting our main streets into mini-highways. It’s a tragedy that someone had to lose their life, and a compelling argument for more traffic calming. I hope as a community we can learn from this and try to make Rowena safer for everyone.

    • Exactly right. Study after study shows that road diets save lives. I can’t remember the exact statistic, but something like 90% of pedestrians struck by vehicles travelling 35 mph or more are fatally injured, while 90% of pedestrians struck by vehicles travelling 25 mph or less survive.

      Engineering our roads for speeds- as we love to do in LA, is nothing less than trading lives of pedestrians for the convenience of drivers. Implementing a road diet is essentially saying “The tradeoff isn’t worth the cost.” With so many cities now betting big on road diets for safety and livability, it would be nice if LA could do the same. Sadly, we are woefully behind in this regard. I’d say 10 years behind cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Denver, and more like 20 years behind your average European city. I’m hoping things change after the Metro system is built out, and we a higher share of Angelenos are forgoing driving for walking/biking/public transit.

  11. This was so sad. Truly. I was there and id you were there, some of you might do less grandstanding and more outreach beyond your coffee and slippers humbug musings.

    Someone died.

    While it is important to absolutely recignize the dangers of jaywalking. The real danger is that street. A wonan was hit and killed last year by Blair.

    Sunny et al if you feel so strongly i hope you do more than opine about someone you didnt know and work on the real problem and call Tom LaBonge and tell him Rowena needs to be fixed. I have seen drivers blow through the one crosswalk because theyre not ready for it.

    I live in the hood. Have kids at school. More lights, more crosswalks, a road “diet” with crosswalks and turn lanes. NOW. What’s it going take? A whole family getting hit?

    On another note, Megan has a solid point. She lost a friend and I’m so sorry about that. We were at the Edendale with friends. Didn’t see the accident but came out when I saw police screech up; you could see the lights from inside the patio. This young woman only moments before was inside having fun and when I got outside she was completely lifeless in the street. Brutal.

    We are all part of the solution. Make this street safer. Call Tom LaBonge. A Rowena Road Diet would be an amazing legacy for him.

  12. i agree with Tim.
    i live right next to the Edendale and have seen too many things to post here, but…
    …illegal U-turns are constant (the Edendale Valet are the #1 culprit of this now that their lot is in the Camelot Kids parking lot on West Silver Lake Dr./Rowena), drunk patrons puking, being obnoxious, public urination and illegal parking (in drive ways). i’ve walked over to the Edendale to speak with the host about this and her excuse is “you live in the city”. WTF?!?

    a crosswalk at Auburn St crossing Rowena or one right in front of the Edendale where the woman got hit would help this.

    anyone familiar with Rowena knows it’s like a freeway here.
    cars will do 50+ mph. i know because i’ll be doing 40mph and have cars pass me like i’m standing still.

    neighbors behind the Edendale have had issues with noise from their patio, now us in the front are dealing with the above mentioned issues.

    my heart goes out to the family of this young woman.
    i was startled and could not believe what had happened.

    i really don’t want this to happen ever again here on Rowena and i plan on speaking with the local Police Department and the Fire Department down a block as well as writing to Garcetti about this.

  13. If the plan to create the Rowena “Road Diet” actually becomes reality, this should help create a safer street for all users — pedestrians, bikes, and even cars. There would be two lanes of thru traffic, plus an actual left turn lane and bike lanes on each side. No more pedestrians darting across four lanes of traffic, as drivers dodge bikes and cars trying to park or make left turns.

    The other side of the story is that LA’s Department of Transportation is still behind the curve on pedestrian safety. They’d much rather take out crosswalks since they might be construed as encouraging pedestrians to think of themselves as other than second-class citizens (“a false sense of security” is the answer they give when challenged about removing crosswalks). Several years ago, the director of DOT even said in an LA Times article, “Our job is to move cars, not people.” That’s the problem within that bureaucratic culture, and it’s slow to change.

  14. What a heart breaking tragedy.
    Some have made a good points about speeding- Rowena, Glendale, Sunset and Riverside could all use consistent enforcement. Drivers regularly speed down Riverside at 60 mph +. So far I’ve only witnessed dogs and cats getting run down there- bad enough- but I suspect its had it share of human fatalities too. I don’t know if high speed was a factor in last night’s accident but it is clearly a hazard that we can and should control. I’m in as big rush as anyone else to get where I ‘m going but the speeding in residential neighborhoods is out of control.

  15. I was there and it was awful. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her, and am now so saddened to hear she didn’t make it. My heart goes out to her friends & family, especially her father.

  16. ROAD DIET NOW. Let’s make our neighborhood safe for everyone to enjoy.

    • I encourage everyone who feels this way to email Tom Labonge immediately, to let him know we need this road diet – now more than ever.

      tom.labonge@lacity.org

      For the safety of all Silver Lake pedestrians, thank you for doing this.

    • The “road diet” is as horrible an idea as it is a term. Jamming up traffic on a main thoroughfare, the the only route to the freeway from the Hyperion corridor, is not intelligent.

      • Jamming up traffic may not be intelligent, but making space for pedestrians and bicyclists IS intelligent, which, in turn, will further decrease traffic.

      • Some prefer to call it a road buffet, as it will provide more transit options for everyone, instead of just catering to cars at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians. Think of it this way, every cyclist and pedestrian on the street is one less car clogging up your commute!

      • Bob, whether you think its a good idea or not depends on what your priorities are: Shaving a few minutes off your drive, OR saving lives of pedestrians.

      • Traffic actually flows better after road diets because people aren’t speeding up to intersections and getting stopped there. Actual speed might decrease a bit but travel time goes down.

  17. So, sooo, sooo very sad. Condolences to all who saw and know this girl. And she was just a girl at 23. Wow.

  18. I live across the street and was having a birthday party last night at Edendale. Even at 8 pm, the cars were whizzing by — it probably took me 5 minutes to directly cross the street! Did I walk to either light? No. Who does that? The lights are too far apart. And getting to the reservoir, Nicki Ds, Edendale, Clover, JoMag — getting to all the businesses across the street has always been a dodgy endeavor. And the cars coming westbound can barely see you because of the parked cars and the curve in the road. For 13 years, I’ve seen the problem get worse, day and night.

    Tragedy all around, for the victim and the driver. Somebody thought I was the woman’s friend or knew Cassie. I had invited a friend Cassie to my party, so went out to the scene. I saw her and her Dad on the street, screaming and in shock. It was awful. Too, too young.

    My heart goes out to you Megan. Is there any more information on her and the family? I would like to send condolences.

    Tom LeBonge’s daughter and my son went to Ivanhoe together. LaBonge knows this block intimately. I think he would be very responsive to a crosswalk or road diet. I know we residents and businesses would welcome and embrace one so no one else has to lose a life.

    • It’s a sad, horrible tragedy that this occurred, but a road diet on Rowena was and still is a stupid, horrible idea. Trying to pretend that Silverlake is a small, country village will not make the traffic magically disappear. Because of the geography of the hills and the river, there are very few ways to get between the Hollywood/Silverlake area and the Glendale/Eagle Rock/Pasadena area. Glendale, Hyperion, and Rowena are transit corridors and will always be transit corridors.

      • The idea of a road diet is not to make traffic “disappear”, but rather to calm its flow. The situation now – cars racing from stop light to stop light – is not only unsafe for everyone, but isn’t even the most efficient way to move cars on such streets. Just because a street is a “transit corridor” doesn’t mean that its design should disregard all legitimate users except automobile traffic.

      • Good point. But There may be ways of redirecting traffic so rowena wouldnt be part of a (commuter) transit corridor. Rowena has a lot of potential as a mixed-use strip from hyperion to glendale, where it ends.

      • Except road diets typically make traffic flow better and lower travel times. This isn’t a connector road between two suburban subdivisions, it’s a small winding road in a dense neighborhood with a school and businesses and multiple stops. Faster speeds only means getting to the red light faster and being stopped longer.

    • Elizabeth,

      My name is Cassie. I’m Ashley’s friend who had just met up with her at what must have been minutes before this accident. All who knew her are mourning the loss of the sweetest soul. Thank you for your condolences, I will be sure her family knows. We are all in such shock and so sad that we lost a truly wonderful woman, friend, daughter, grand daughter,co-worker. She is and will be missed forever.

  19. Does anyone know the poor girl’s name? I fear it may be my neighbor but have no confirmation.

    I feel horrible for the girl’s family and all those touched by this. It is a dangerous stretch of road. I will admit I have jay walked on Rowena before, better lighting and another crosswalk would help, but let’s not point fingers, lets work on helping the problem.

    For those neighbors complaining, I understand your concerns, but this is a mixed use area, not simply a residential zone. These business are our neighbors too and Edendale has been a great part of the neighborhood. We need to coexist.

  20. The girl’s name is Ashley Sandau and she was an incredibly kind young woman. I am sending my deepest condolences to her father and the rest of her family.

  21. She was a beautiful young lady that I went to high school with and we attended college in the same area. I hope that everyone affected by this wether they live in this area or not Continue to remain cautious while driving so that lives like Hers aren’t taken and accidents like this are avoided. My heart goes out to her family.

  22. Cassie, I used to work with Ahley in NY. I’m trying so hard to get some information and stumbled upon this article. I am in such shock about this awful tragedy. All of her friends and especially her family have been on my mind constantly. I am just looking for some info if you see this please respond

    • To “Co-worker” who commented on April 1st. about Ashley Sandau, I am her aunt and Ashley was like a daughter to me. If you’d like to call me, my cell phone no. is (716)397-7773. My name is Eileen. Where did you work with Ashley? I’ve met so many of her wonderful friends from all over the world who came to share in her Celebration of Life ceremony when she died. We are all so very devastated. She was coming back to stay with us in Jamestown, NY a few days after the date she passed away. I feel like this can’t be real. It’s so hard to accept. I keep feeling like I’m still waiting for her to come home. I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone and after reading all the comments right after she was struck and killed, I hope something is done to improve this area relative to the traffic: speeding, 4 lanes plus 2 parking lanes to cross with no median and crosswalks so far apart, poor lighting, etc. Anyone who witnessed this accident , and I noticed a few people had, can you please talk to the police about what you saw? Ashley’s father said the car came out of nowhere like a bat out of hell. He is having nightmares after having witnessed such a terrible thing.

  23. If you reach out to me on Facebook, I think that’s be the best way for me to be able to share the info I know with you. Send me a message with your info and I can contact you. I hope this helps.

    http://on.fb.me/H3j8Cw

  24. A friend of mines friend was horrible injured almost killed right in front of that firehouse. Sounds like the exact same scenario. Although it doesnt seem it was the drivers fault this is a dangerous area. I think as a community we could make it safer regardless of whose fault it is. I really think Edendale should pitch in by demanding its patrons cross at the light. some targeted jaywalking tickets would’nt hurt either. Again its not about blaming Edendale its just about saving lives.

    • Can you say more about the firehouse incident? What date was the accident and what injuries sustained? I am compiling a history of the street. The Berkeley site only lists accidents through 2009. Any information would be very helpful.

  25. My heart goes out to the driver too…their life will never quite be the same.

  26. First of all, the article says the driver remained on the scene, but this is a LIE. It was a hit and run. Ashley was my cousin, a sweet and talented young woman who just turned 24. My uncle had to watch the whole thing happen. This is the worst kind of tragedy. So please keep all your “she should have been in the crosswalk” comments to yourself. It could have easily happened in the crosswalk as well. And to the anonymous poster – give me a break. I highly doubt their life will be affected by this, if they didn’t even have the heart to stop!

    Rest in peace my dear cousin. You will be forever in our hearts and truly missed. <3

  27. What a horrible tragedy! My heart goes out to the family and friends. I will be emailing Tom Labonge about calming traffic as it is way too fast and dangerous on this stretch of road.

  28. I have sent in a letter to Tom Labonge about what happened that night, with a link to this article. We will be pursuing this, and I urge anyone who is concerned with the safety of the area to do the same.

    http://www.tomlabonge.com/contact/

  29. each accident is never meant to happen but it happens. both parties are victims of this incident so instead of pointing fingers on them, let us recite a prayer for them.

    correction also… the driver never left scene from the beginning ’til the end. here’s a video from CBS news when the police officers were doing the investigation on the driver:

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/03/31/woman-fatally-struck-by-vehicle-in-silver-lake/

    let us all be open minded.

    • I prefer to believe my uncle, who saw the whole thing happen, not the police.

      • no problem. we are all entitled of what we believed in but all witnesses were being held and one of the them said that the investigating officer never let go of the driver until all of the witnesses were interviewed.

        I honestly feel for you also. Sorry about your loss.

        • stop the developers

          Alicia,
          i live across the street and saw the aftermath.
          my heart goes out to you and her father.

          but, the car stopped one block away and just sat in their car. the whole time.

          the police had to walk up to their car and speak to them. i periodically watched this event and would say from his perspective, he never saw their face since they were in their car the whole time. probably in shock.

          i would not blame the driver at all in this scenario. the car on the inside lane stopped for her and this driver didn’t know someone was crossing the street illegally.

          i’ve seen this scenario happen since this tragedy. i drive in both direction on Rowena daily.

          again, i’m sorry for your loss, but let’s not blame the driver.

  30. This horrible incident is neither about the pedestrian nor the restaurant.
    This is about a street that has been wrongly managed by the city:
    people routinely go 60 miles an hour on Rowena, which is not at all designed for that.
    This terrible tragedy was completely preventable if the city would have put into place the ROAD DIET that had been suggested.
    And people, please slow down. I just saw a man hit by a car on echo park ave. The driver, in a rush, going 50 miles an hour, “didn’t see” the man. Well. If you are driving carefully, there is always time, on a city street, to give a pedestrian room to cross safely.
    Even if they are not in the crosswalk.

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