By Jeff Pack
Writer 

Attorney for family of boy killed in Rainbow crash hopeful for traffic light

 

Last updated 11/7/2019 at 5:47am

The family of Jorge Vasquez, the 14-year-old boy headed for his freshman year at Fallbrook Union High School this summer before he was killed in a traffic accident July 23 at Old Highway 395 and Rainbow Glen Road, isn't ready to talk just yet.

But an attorney for the family commented on a recent decision by the San Diego County Traffic Advisory Committee to push forward approval for a proposed stoplight at the intersection to the Board of Supervisors for a vote during a Nov. 20 hearing date.

"They are all, understandably, still grieving and it's difficult for them to discuss," Christie Palcisko of the Petrov Law Firm said. "We are relieved that the TAC has recommended installing a traffic signal and we do not anticipate any pushback from the board of supervisors, but we're prepared to provide additional statements and testimony if needed."

During the Oct. 25 TAC meeting, several Rainbow residents expressed the fear they feel in using the intersection.

"We really need that light there," Oak Crest Estates resident Elden Hansen said.

"We do need to have safe egress from our community," Rainbow resident Cindy Myers said. "The ever-increasing accident rate really shows that we need the traffic signal."

Palcisko said these concerns have been expressed for many years.

"It should not have taken a fatality, the death of a 13-year-old child, to get the county to listen and respond to the concerns of the people who drive on these roads every day." Palcisko said.

According to a press release shared by Palcisko, a 2014 traffic study found that the intersection did not meet the guidelines used to justify installing traffic control devices, either an all-way stop or traffic signal. The department of Public Works found that the "high volume intersection is working well in its present state."


The press release indicated that "since that finding, at least nine other collisions have occurred at the intersection of Old 395 and Rainbow Glen, many of them resulting in injuries."

Jorge was a passenger in a vehicle that was broadsided by a tractor-trailer. His mother and sister were injured in the collision. The TAC determined that this and 3 other collisions are "correctable with a traffic control signal."

The four collisions at the intersection within a one year period, which created a rate of 1.03 collisions per 1 million vehicles entering the intersection. The statewide average for four-way rural intersections with a stop control on one road is 0.22.


According to Palcisko, the Vasquez family has not yet filed a lawsuit in the death of their son.

"We have not decided if we will be filing lawsuit and who might be named," she said. "Right now, we are investigating this collision and the multiple factors that caused it."

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.

Joe Naiman contributed to this report.

 

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