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October 20, 2014

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Group raising money for light at intersection as way to prevent future fatalities

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Aida Ahmed

Miz Decker, 6, was hit and killed at a North Las Vegas crosswalk on Oct. 21 when 78-year-old Alica Alava failed to yield to pedestrians.

Shine a Light for Mia Special Offers

“Shine a Light For Mia” continues Saturday until dusk at 3385 South Durango Dr. Some of the deals offered by businesses in the strip mall include:

Villa Pizza ($9.95 coupon for a large pizza, good though March 31)

Mobile Command Detail (car wash for donations, Saturday only)

GiGi’s Cupcakes (gourmet cupcakes for donations, good through February)

1-800 Flowers (coupons for $20 flower bouquets, good through February)

Round One Boxing (discount coupon for classes, good through February)

C-Q Nails (discount on manicures and pedicures, good through February)

Let it Roll Skate Shop (discounts on gear, good through February)

Angel Tails Mobil Dog Grooming (free nail clips, Saturday only)

A Dias Salon (coupon for $10 manicures, good through February)

Michele Terry lived in North Las Vegas for 10 years before her 6-year-old daughter Mia Decker was hit and killed in October at a crosswalk just minutes away from her home, on Camino Eldorado near Tropical Parkway.

“You don’t think it’s going to happen and, unfortunately, it does happen,” said Terry, whose 13-year-old daughter was with her sister when she was hit.

The girls were among a group of friends coming home from a local park when 78-year-old Alice Alava failed to stop, police said. Alava continued into the crosswalk, killing Mia and leaving another child in critical condition.

Distraught by the loss of Mia, Terry said she wouldn’t let her older daughter outside for months after the accident.

“I’ve always taught my kids what the laws are with the crosswalk,” said Terry. “They were obeying the law and unfortunately someone else didn’t and that’s what took my daughter.”

Terry said she doesn’t want the same horrific event to happen to anyone else, so with the help of UNLV’s Safe Community Partnership, she and the university have launched Shine a Light for Mia, which is raising money for an electronic crosswalk sign at the intersection where Mia was killed.

The group enlisted the help of businesses at a strip mall at 3385 South Durango Dr. to provide discounts to their customers and accept donations for the sign.

The LED stutter-flash sign will cost upward of $10,000 and the Safe Community Partnership hopes to raise enough money to aid North Las Vegas in getting it up in the next few months. The Safe Community Partnership is pushing the city to move fast on the sign, although it is unclear how fast the city will find funding for it.

Erin Breen, director of the Safe Community Partnership, said the stutter-flash sign is more prominent than an ordinary crosswalk sign.

“It's your basic pedestrian yellow sign, but then underneath it is this solar-powered LED light and it’s a weird pattern that is not the same ever so your eye doesn’t get used to it,” said Breen. “This whole issue of pedestrian safety being a two-way street couldn’t be more true.”

Although the event officially ends at dusk, Terry and Breen hope people will continue to donate to Shine a Light for Mia so no other pedestrians lose their lives.

“It’s a club you never want to belong to,” said Terry. “This is the type of club where you want less people in it … and that’s what we’re trying to make happen here.”

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Other events Saturday at the strip mall include:

Pedestrian safety course with the Regional Transportation Commission

Seat Belt Convincer Ride with National Highway Patrol

Fatal Vision Olympics with local police

Child safety seat check by the Clark County Safe Kids Coalition from 1 to 3 p.m.

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