A fundraiser and education event is planned Wednesday in the memory of 12-year-old Jonathan Smith, who was hit and killed by a motorist last month.
Smith was killed March 25 as he and two friends were crossing south Fort Apache Road near Arby Avenue outside a marked crosswalk. Another 12-year-old also was injured.
Wet’n’Wild water park, located across from where Smith was killed, will donate $1 from every admission ticket sold Wednesday to Smith’s GoFundMe page.
Wet’n’Wild General Manager Justin LuCore said he thought it was necessary to jump into action because the park is part of the community affected by the loss of a young person’s life. LuCore said he spoke with the family and staff at nearby Faiss Middle School, where Smith attended, before putting the event together.
“What happened with Jonny was terrible, and we are next-door neighbors with Faiss Middle School and we’re members of the community. It felt like the right thing to do,” LuCore said. “We wanted to create awareness, a call to action, that there needs to be one, so as a community we can talk together. That’s what a community does and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
UNLV’s Vulnerable Road Users Project will also be on hand throughout the day hosting pedestrian safety demonstrations.
The demonstrations will include a functioning traffic signal and a rollout crosswalk, where guests can learn proper crosswalk safety. Guests will also learn what to do when there are no traffic signals and other measures to keep pedestrians safe.
Clark County is conducting a safety study in the area where the crash occurred, with residents calling for a crosswalk or traffic signal at the intersection where Smith was killed.
LuCore said he’d support any safety upgrades recommended in the area, but regardless, extra caution is needed in areas where children may be present, he said.
“I think those studies will be able to show what is or what is not needed in these areas,” he said. “They’ll be talking to the kids about where they should cross the street, but it takes everybody working together. Slow down in school zones. Look, be careful. It’s easy to take life for granted.”