BUT FIRST... IT WAS MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AGO THAT
A YOUNG WOMAN'S DEATH SPARKED CHANGE IN THE SPOKANE
AND NOW THAT CHANGE IS KEEPING DRIVERS SAFER.
IT COMES IN THE FORM OF
A NEW OVERPASS FOR THE CHENEY-SPOKANE
ROAD ON U-S 195.
KXLY4'S IAN CULL SPOKE WITH THAT YOUNG WOMAN'S FAMILY.
HE'S LIVE IN THE NEWSROOM WITH THEIR REACTION, IAN?
THE NEW OVERPASS PROVIDES A CERTAIN CLOSURE FOR LORISSA
SHE WAS ONLY 16 YEARS OLD.
THEY NEVER KNEW THEY'D BE SO PASSIONATE ABOUT A ROADS
PROJECT UNTIL THAT ONE NIGHT FIVE YEARS AGO.
LORISSA GREEN DROVE NORTHBOUND ON 195.
SHE TOOK A LEFT AT THE CHENEY SPOKANE ROAD.
GREEN WAS HIT -- AND KILLED.
HER MEMORY -- NOW LIVES AT THIS INTERSECTION.
AN OVERPASS MAKES IT SAFE TO CROSS THIS BUSY HIGHWAY.
("I know that there will be no more accidents here.
I know that people will be safe.")
DEBI HAMMEL SPENT COUNTLESS HOURS WRITING LAWMAKERS
-- HOPING THAT CHANGE WOULD BE MADE.
FIVE YEARS LATER -- HERE IT STANDS.
("That's a big job. To see it finally come to an end
and be closed was really nice.")
("It makes me feel safer because I don't have to go
through the same thing. I don't have to go through
that intersection every day.")
THE 9.5 MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT TURNED THAT INTERSECTION
-- INTO A DIAMOND INTERCHANGE.
ON AND OFF RAMPS -- MAKE IT SO NO ONE HAS TO TAKE
THAT LEFT TURN ACROSS 55 MILE PER HOUR TRAFFIC AGAIN.
REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN PARKER -- SAYS IT WAS ONE OF
THE FIRST PROJECTS HE WORKED ON AFTER TAKING OFFICE
("It became the most meaningful legislative project
I think I ever worked on. I think because it involved
a member from the community, it involved a tragic
death, a life cut too short, and at the end of the
day we were able to do something about it.")
THE OVERPASS NOW SERVES IN MEMORY OF LORISSA -- BUT
DURING OUR INTERVIEW A BRIGHT REMINDER OF HER.
("She's here, yeah.")
HAMMEL SAYS EVERYTIME SHE'S NEAR THIS INTERSECTION
-- AND IT RAINS -- A RAINBOW APPEARS.
("We have a lot of pictures of the rainbow right here
over the highway.")
A GUIDING LIGHT.
NOW LORISSA'S LEGACY LIVES ON -- IF IT'S SUNNY OR
("I think it's really important for people to know
that really great things can come out of tragedy and
this is one of them.")
DEBI HAMMEL SAYS SHE HOPES SOMETHING WILL BE DONE
AT OTHER DANGEROUS INTERSECTIONS ALONG THE BUSY U-S
195 -- TO REDUCE SERIOUS COLLISIONS.
THE ONLY PART OF THE INTERCHANGE THAT STILL NEEDS
TO BE FINISHED IS THE SOUTHBOUND OFF-RAMP.
IT'S EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED WITHIN A MONTH.
IAN CULL, KXLY 4 NEWS.
AND ONE OF THOSE PROJECTS WILL START TOMORROW.
THE INTERSECTION OF 195 AND WEST QUALCHAN IS PERMANENTLY
NORTHBOUND DRIVERS WILL HAVE TO USE THE CHENEY-SPOKANE
ROAD EXIT -- AND THEN DRIVE SOUTH TO REACH THEIR HOMES