Los Angeles: Holocaust Survivor Killed in Crosswalk, Residents Remain at Risk


los-angelesOn November 22, a traffic accident claimed the life of Rabbi Berish Landau, an 88 year-old Holocaust survivor, and critically injured Rabbi Samuel Jacobs, a teacher at Yeshiva Rav Issacsohn Toras Emes Academy. Rabbi Jacobs was escorting Rabbi Landau through the eastbound crosswalk of Oakwood Ave. intersecting La Brea Blvd. in Los Angeles. They were both struck by a vehicle heading north on La Brea when the vehicular traffic signal turned green while they were in the crosswalk.

It has been reported that prior to this tragedy Councilmember Paul Koretz, whose district includes the accident site, was placed on notice that the pedestrian signal at said intersection did not provide reasonable time to cross and posed a serious danger. Most troubling was that immediately following this tragedy, the City did not respond by extending the time on said pedestrian signal.

In response to the City’s lack of action, Rabbi Hershy Ten, President of Bikur Cholim, wrote to Councilmember Koretz and Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) General Manager Jaime de la Vega requesting an immediate extension of time to be added to the aforementioned pedestrian signal, as well as a formal evaluation of all pedestrian signals in the area, and a timeline in which to expect these items to be addressed. While both City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s offices expressed an interest in this matter, as of 3:00 PM yesterday, both Koretz and de la Vega have remained silent to said requests.

Ten stated, “This is a matter of public safety. The La Brea/Beverly/Third Street area is heavily concentrated with daily pedestrian traffic of all ages; children walking to school, congregants walking to synagogue, and mothers walking their children.”

In light of the potential of additional fatalities and injuries, Rabbi Ten contacted the remaining Los Angeles Councilmembers requesting them to make every effort possible to motivate an immediate response from their colleague and LADOT.

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}