Request for lights on Clark Co. road after teen’s death

Andreaus Matthews, 16, was hit, killed on NE 172nd Avenue on June 29 while skateboarding

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — A community in Clark County is fighting for street lights along a roadway after a teenage skateboarder was hit and killed by a car in June.

Northeast 172nd Avenue is rural, but it’s a main corridor to the Hockinson area. Sixteen-year-old Andreaus Matthews was struck by a driver while skateboarding on that road on June 29.

A memorial (right) near the site where 16-year-old Andreaus Matthews (left) was hit and killed while skateboarding in Clark County, August 20, 2014. (KOIN 6)
A memorial (right) near the site where 16-year-old Andreaus Matthews (left) was hit and killed while skateboarding in Clark County, August 20, 2014. (KOIN 6)

“He was just one of those kids that would go and take care of the underdog kid,” said Kelli Rough, whose son was best friends with Matthews.

Rough is also spearheading an initiative with the Clark County Public Works to have sidewalks or street lights installed along the road.

“When you lose a member of your community, it just gives me goose bumps thinking about it,” said Rough. “We’re all just fighting to get something done.”

Per its policy though, Clark County Public Works Spokesperson Jeff Mize said they do not install street lights along county roads, not even in more suburban neighborhoods.

However, the county does install street lights at major intersections, railroad crossings and other limited locations. The area where the incident occurred is rural and not the type of area where street lights would be installed.

In a statement Mize wrote, “Rough has been a tremendous advocate for this issue, and Clark County intends to continue working with her and the community to discuss other alternatives that could improve safety.”

Mize suggested adding guardrails instead.

The driver who hit Matthews was reportedly speeding and was sent to the hospital.

The county’s Traffic Safety Task Force has yet to respond to KOIN 6 News about that person’s condition and whether charges might be filed.

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