suffer the way he and William Cramer's family have suffered.
Cramer also lost his wife and daughter. He was not available for
comment for this story.
The city temporarily removed a plaque honoring 36-year-old
Patricia Carr; her daughter, 6-year-old Caren; 33-year-old Valerie
Cramer, and her 9-year-old daughter, Brianna Cramer. The four were
killed by a car driven by William Conway, who was going about 80 mph
in a 35-mph zone through the intersection of Verdugo Road and Canada
On July 13, 1988, Carr's wife and daughter told him they were
going for a walk. When it started getting dark and they hadn't
returned, he went driving to look for them and saw an accident scene
-- fire trucks, police cars, and helicopters hovering overhead.
At the crowded scene, he learned that his wife and daughter and
Valerie and Brianna Cramer had been hit.
"I asked how they were and the fire chief said 'I'm sorry,' " Carr
said. "My daughter's bones were just shattered like fine china."
Mirna Stanley's home is around the corner from the Cramers' and
the Carrs' former homes. She used to see Valerie Cramer jog by and
Brianna Cramer playing in the front yard, she said.
"I remember clearly. It was July, it was nearly dusk and the
sirens and the helicopters were just incessant," Stanley said. "I
knew something happened and I didn't go down because I knew it was
"You went by the next morning and you'd see marks on the street --
strangers would just cry," Stanley said. "We lost four of our own. It
was something you could not believe happened. It's not supposed to
happen to young moms and their little girls."
Conway was convicted on four counts of gross vehicular
manslaughter and drunken driving, and served four years of an 11-year
prison sentence, Carr said.
The crosswalk that has been home to the plaque is being improved
to make it easier for drivers to maneuver around the median and to
upgrade traffic signals, said Jono Bagdanian, city traffic and
transportation administrator. Pedestrians will also be less exposed
to high-speed traffic, a city memo said.
The changes, which include remounting the plaque in the
intersection's larger median area, are expected to be finished by
late August, Bagdanian said.
Since the accident, Carr has remarried, and he and his wife,
Janet, have a son and a daughter.
While the city has worked to involve the families in the
improvements to the intersection, the change has stirred up feelings
for Carr and others touched by the tragedy.
"Other people I've talked to, they've called me and were upset by
it," Carr said, adding that he hoped renewed attention to the
families' loss might help save lives.
Particularly during July, Stanley and others remember the
"You have to ask yourself why, but sometimes you just don't have
answers," Stanley said.