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Engineers study intersection after deadly hit-and-run

3:40 PM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - Denver engineers are studying the intersection where two children were killed and their mother severely injured in a hit-and-run.

The crash happened in late March at the intersection of East 14th Avenue and Yosemite Street.

Police say Zama Bee was crossing the street with her two sons, Za May Khan, 8 and Ah Zet Khan, 6.

"They were out into the intersection when they got hit," Denver Police Lt. Robert Rock said.

The driver ran. Denver police have looked into more than 100 tips, but still nothing.

"What we need people to help us with us with, tell us of anybody that they know that may have a vehicle that we're looking for. [The car] is either a white or silver Cadillac Escalade ESV. It's the large version of it. It might have minor to moderate front end damage," Rock said.

The intersection falls under both Denver and Aurora jurisdiction.

The drivers stop only in one direction. The traffic constantly zooms by. Even with the speed limit of 30 miles per hour, a car driving that fast can do damage, Rock said.

Denver engineers say the accident statistics at the intersection are not high, based on the traffic flow in 2010. There were 10 crashes on the Aurora side and eight on the Denver side.

In 2012, Denver had 14 accidents at the intersection, plus five hit-and-runs. Aurora had eight crashes and no hit-and-runs. But experts say looking at numbers alone isn't enough. They need to consider other factors when analyzing the intersection.

In 2010, Aurora looked at East 14th Avenue and Yosemite Street and decided no traffic light was needed at the intersection.

Matthew Wager, Director of Operations for Traffic Engineering Services for the City of Denver, says the deadly hit-and-run crash prompted engineers to take a look.

"We're gathering the information about the intersection. We're getting traffic counts," Wager said. "We're also looking at geometry of the intersection to see how it's laid out and how it's functioning today."

Wager said the project is a joint effort, since Aurora and Denver share the intersection.

"Engineering does not have a solution to [poor driving]," he said. "What we can do is what we are doing. We study the area. We make sure we understand what's going on out there and if there are changes that are appropriate. We put them in or take those steps."

It will be two months before engineers will know what, if anything, can be done at the intersection.

Zama is coming home from the hospital this week.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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