Riverdale Park: Md. denied request to modify deadly crosswalk

RIVERDALE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 3-year-old girl remains in the hospital, recovering from the crash that nearly took her life and killed her mother, Thelma Fernandez Flores, 31.

Flores was hit and killed in a crosswalk trying to cross a busy Riverdale Road in Prince George's County Monday afternoon.

Tuesday night, scores of family and friends gathered just feet from the fateful crosswalk to remember Flores.

"She was happy all the time. She had a lot of dreams but the first one was to give a better life for her daughter," said Soccorro Saaveers, Flores' sister-in-law.

In her final moment, witnesses say Flores shielded her daughter from the SUV they say came speeding through the crosswalk. Two other lanes of traffic were stopped to allow them to cross.

"She loved her daughters. Loved her daughters," said Javier Moreno, Flores' longtime boyfriend.

Flores also leaves behind a 14-year-old daughter.

At Tuesday's vigil there were also calls for justice and changes. Justice, they said, would include charging the driver that killed Flores while the changes they desire would mean making the deadly intersection where she was killed safer.

"This completely should never have happened," said Vernon Archer, Mayor of Riverdale Park.

Archer said the town requested that the Maryland State Highway Office evaluate the dangerous intersection two years ago, after another near fatal pedestrian accident.

"I think speed combined with the number of lanes - six through-lanes and two turn-lanes - and to expect pedestrians to be able to get across that with no assistance is just ridiculous," said Archer.

Archer explained that, after a study, the state denied his request to modify the intersection.

"Part of the reason was that there was not an accident history sufficient enough to justify it in their opinion," he said.

"We need something done, they have to reevaluate, they have to fix this, they have to make sure this doesn't happen again," continued Archer.

Until then, a family that has lost so much, remains lost.

"I have a lot of uncertainty right now. There's a lot of uncertainty about this situation," said Moreno, through a translator. "But I have faith in God that there will be justice in this situation, justice for the girls."

Police are still investigating the accident. Whether or not the driver of the SUV that hit Flores will be charged will depend on that investigation.


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