A Lake Elsinore mom whose son was killed on Lake Street this past spring made an emotional plea Tuesday night to City Council.
“It’s very hard for me to stand up here,” a tearful Annmarie Devaney told the Lake Elsinore council members. “Our son’s in heaven and I can’t bring him back. Please … put up lights.”
With more than 25 supporters in tow, including husband Chad, Devaney asked city council to make Lake Street safer by installing lights along the dark roadway.
On May 2 at approximately 10:10 p.m., as he rode his skateboard on Lake Street, about a half mile west of the 15 Freeway.
“The driver of the vehicle was unable to slow…,” according to a Lake Elsinore Police Department report that was issued shortly following the tragic accident.
The driver, whose identity was withheld, “offered full cooperation with investigators and was later released from the police station,” the report stated.
Prior to Tuesday night’s meeting, Patch spoke with Annmarie. The heartbroken mom talked about her son’s community involvement, his high academic achievements -- and his zest for life.
Anthony was an honor student at the former Gordon Kiefer High School in Lake Elsinore and had gone on to Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Annmarie explained. He earned several scholarships as a result of his grades and community service, she added, noting that her son volunteered for activities like the Unity in Community Parade, church functions, and as an Explorer with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
He was also very athletic and had a great appreciation for Christian music that he expressed as a drummer, she said.
“He was so vibrant, so loving, so caring. He enjoyed every minute of life,” Annmarie explained. “I am so proud of my little man, my little hero.”
The driver who struck Anthony was a 17-year-old boy who the Devaney’s have opened their hearts to, Annmarie said.
“We offered to help him with counseling,” she explained, noting that the teen lost his own mother when he was just 6.
Currently, Anthony’s 6-year-old sister and his young niece are both in therapy to help them cope with the loss, Annmarie said.
“I have no more energy,” she continued, “but I can go out there and fight hard. I don’t want this to happen to another family.”
That’s the reason for Tuesday night’s showing, Chad said.
“We are just trying to save someone else from having an accident on this street,” he explained.
City council members sat quietly during Annmarie’s poignant plea, and afterward Mayor Brian Tisdale promised, “We hear you and we’re sorry for your loss. The city will do something about this.”
The audience applauded the mayor's words.
With that, Councilmember Bob Magee -- who Annmarie said she contacted before the meeting -- told the Devaney’s Tuesday he had spoken with city staff and an “interim solution” had been discussed that he hoped would meet with the family’s approval.
The Devaney’s are now scheduled to speak with city officials to hear the details.