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Rohnert Park couple alleges city officials knew intersection was dangerous

The parents of a Rohnert Park toddler who was struck and killed in a crosswalk by an oncoming driver filed a claim with the Rohnert Park City Clerk's office that alleges city officials knew the intersection was dangerous prior to the fatal crash.

The Rohnert Park City Council will discuss the claim with a city attorney during a closed session Tuesday shortly before they begin a public discussion about a traffic safety study launched after the fatal crash.

Calli Murray, 2, was killed and her mother Ling Murray, 42, was seriously injured in the Dec. 1, 2010 crash in a Snyder Lane crosswalk at Medical Center Drive. Police said the driver, Kaitlyn Dunaway, 18, was texting on her cell phone. Dunaway on Thursday is scheduled to enter a plea to a charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

The Murrays filed separate claims on May 17 that allege the city is responsible for failing to "provide proper warning signs and other warning devices, creating a hidden trap" at the crossing.

Rohnert Park City Clerk Judy Hauff said the council wasn't likely to make a decision on the claim Tuesday and would be reading the document for the first time. The claim lays the groundwork for the Murrays to sue the city for more than $25,000, should they decided to do so.

"It's just another step we have to go through," said Jeff Murray, who on Monday had just returned home with his wife from a physical therapy session.

His wife continues to work with a physical therapist and personal trainer three times a week to help regain movement in her arms and legs. She suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries in the crash.

"Every day I'm feeling stronger and healthier," she said as she fell asleep on the couch, exhausted from the day's workout.

The council meeting begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Council members will break into a closed session to discuss the claim, then resume public discussion of agenda matters, including the traffic safety study.

A private firm hired to evaluate eight intersections, including Snyder Lane at Medical Center Drive, recommended several long-term and short-term safety improvements, including additional signs, different striping and street lights.


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