Mother of 6-year-old killed by truck calls for traffic safety changes; Mayor: ‘It’s a major priority’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A mother of a 6-year-old boy hit and killed by a truck submitted a petition to Rochester City Council on Tuesday.  

Farasa Brown is calling for change for traffic safety. More than 2,000 people signed that petition after 6-year-old Ryan “R.J.” Grantham was killed. They want to see changes to traffic rules on Thurston Road.

“Since R.J. passed, I’m out there every single day. There’re at least four or five possible accidents that could happen. I sat out there the other day and almost watched an elderly man get hit,” Brown said.

R.J. died less than a month ago, and although Brown is still mourning and coping with heartache, she is taking action.

“The petition is to try to help prevent this from happening to someone else and their family,” Brown said.

The pain she feels is difficult to deal with. She still can’t believe her son is no longer around and has good days and bad days.

“I still have my highs and my lows. My house is just too quiet at this point, R.J. was the life of the family,” Brown said.

R.J.’s life was lost too soon, which prompted Brown to change her grieving pain into positive change. She submitted a petition to Rochester City Council calling for improvements and new safety traffic measures along Thurston Road. It’s where R.J. was killed on June 23 while crossing the street.

Marsha Augustin: What are the results you are hoping to see from submitting this petition?

Farasa Brown: I hoping there is either a traffic light or the risen crosswalk — some form of speed signals.

This is also something Jacqueline D. Griffin, a Rochester City Board of Education candidate who lives in the 19th Ward, would also like to see.

“From the area of Milton Street all the way to Ellicott Street there has been problems with the speed, with people getting injured, car accidents,” Griffin said.

City Councilmember LaShay Harris represents the 19th Ward and introduced the petition to the council.

“We have a total of 2,010 petitions signed from various folks around the neighborhood and the city so 2,010 signatures to submit for today,” Harris said.

Mayor Malik Evans says the city already has started working on the process with Monroe County.

“Our Department of Environmental Services has already reached out to the county to express that the items outlined in the petitions are something we support and would like to see done,” Evans said.

The city will work with the county Department of Transportation to make this a reality, he explained.