Memorial mashed

A CLUMSY mowing crew has destroyed a roadside memorial in North Fremantle that helped warn pedestrians about the dangers of crossing Stirling Highway.

The little garden memorial was set up by family and friends of long-time resident Maria Dolores Garcia, who was killed after being hit by a car trying to cross to the shops in the town centre three years ago. Harry Pickett says Ms Garcia was like an adopted mum to him, and was extremely popular in the suburb before her death.

• Maria Dolores Garcia was killed trying to cross Stirling Highway three years ago.

“When we put it up, we did it with members of the North Fremantle community to be a reminder to people that this is a dangerous section of road to cross,” Mr Pickett says.

“A lot of the people in the area need a bit of a reminder, and they appreciated that,” he says, noting several nearby aged care facilities.

Mr Pickett says following Ms Garcia’s death the community lobbied the police, Fremantle council and Main Roads to make the crossing safer for pedestrians, but apart from a couple of new signs warning drivers about seniors crossing, little had been done.

He’d like to see the speed limit dropped to 50kmh and flashing pedestrian lights installed, as he believes an easier crossing would be an economic boost to the shops across the road.

• Ms Garcia’s roadside memorial.

Ms Garcia’s daughter Maria-Marta was too upset by the destruction of the memorial for an interview, but said via email that authorities were failing the area’s elderly residents and children from North Fremantle primary school by not fixing the crossing black spot.

Mr Pickett said since the accident he’d been tending the memorial and keeping it weed-free. He added it isn’t the first time a mowing crew had damaged the memorial, but this time it was destroyed.

by STEVE GRANT

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