Deaths of 3 boys illustrates high number of pedestrian fatalities

LAS VEGAS - The number of pedestrian deaths in 2017 in Clark County has passed the number of deaths during all of 2016.

That's according to UNLV's Vulnerable Road Users Project.

But unlike years before, most of these deaths were not the fault of pedestrians.

Candles still flicker where three young lives were taken.

 "There's not a day I don't go by that I don't think of them," said Jaimee Powell.

She came to pay her respects at the roadside memorial on Desert Inn Road and Ocean Crest Street on the east side of the Las Vegas valley.

"Just if I see it falling apart or anything coming down, I try to pick it up," she said. 

Four boys between the ages of 12 to 14 years old were walking on the sidewalk on the evening of Sept. 30 when a driver hit them and fled.

Danny and Francisco Miramontes were brothers. Both were killed Their friend Deandre Lyle also did not survive.

Their deaths have left the community shaken.

"You expect other people to go first and not them, they were so young," said family member Veronica Sanchez. 

The driver, 

She and her husband flew in from Maryland to attend the burial for the Miramontes boys on Sunday.

"They were just nice happy kids, loving," she said.

She says the Miramontes family is grateful for the outpouring of support. Even Emmanuel Cespedes, the fourth boy hit -- and sole survivor of the group -- showed up to the funeral.

"He was walking, he was on crutches and he also had a walker but he was there as a friend, he is also really sad," she said. 

UNLV's Vulnerable Road Users Project says those on foot were at fault for nearly 80 percent of pedestrian deaths in Clark County last year.

This year, half of them were not.

While the group doesn't know why more pedestrians are getting killed, they urge both drivers and pedestrians to be on alert.

Sadly roadside memorials have become grim reminders.

"Anytime people ride by somebody stops, breaks, slows down," Powell said.

The driver accused of hitting the boys, Joseph Eskandarian, was later arrested and is charged with four counts of leaving the scene of crash involving deaths. 

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Miramontes family.


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