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New traffic signal OK’d in Las Vegas near where student was killed

A new traffic signal is planned in the southwest Las Vegas Valley near the spot where a 12-year-old boy was struck and killed by a vehicle in March.

Clark County made the decision to add a traffic signal on South Fort Apache Road and Arby Avenue after conducting a traffic study in the wake of the death of middle school student Jonathan Smith, who was hit and killed by a 2006 Chevrolet HHR in March.

Smith and two other juveniles were crossing Fort Apache outside of a crosswalk near Arby when two vehicles waved them across and a third vehicle drove around the two stopped vehicles, striking Smith and another 12-year-old boy who suffered minor injuries. The third child stopped in the median and was uninjured in the incident.

The area where the incident occurred is sandwiched between Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary School on Arby to the east and Faiss Middle School, Faiss Community Park and Wet ‘n’ Wild water park to the west, areas children are known to frequent.

“This new traffic signal will make the area safer for pedestrians and drivers,” said Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, who represents the district. “It will give pedestrians a safe place to cross Fort Apache right next to the park, and hopefully prevent any future tragedies. I made a commitment to Jonny’s mother that we would make this intersection safer and that is what we are doing.”

Between 2015 and 2017, a total of 46 traffic accidents occurred in the area, according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety. One other automobile-pedestrian incident occurred nearby in June 2017, at Fort Apache and Sunset Road.

The county expects the signal will be in place before the summer of 2020.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakerson Twitter.

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