Teen's death inspires change in Marion County school speed zones - KPTV - FOX 12

Teen's death inspires change in Marion County school speed zones

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TURNER, OR (KPTV) -

The end of Labor Day weekend means its back to school for many kids across the region, and drivers will need to be on the lookout for school speed zones.

For nearly two dozen Marion county schools, those 20 mph signs hold great importance. Until this past week, they weren't there.

The Turner community fought for them to be installed after a Cascade High School graduate died in car crash this June.

Lindsey Magnusson was killed as she was pulling out of the school parking lot. Deputies say the sun was in her eyes, and she was hit by a car traveling the speed limit, 55 miles per hour.

Her family believes if the speed limit had been 20 miles per hour, Magnusson would have survived.

"It just leaves a dull ache. It just didn't have to happen," said Turner resident and parent of four Wade Schirmer.

Since June, Magnusson's family, backed by most of the town, fought hard to have school speed zone signs installed at all 19 schools which didn't have them before.

They took the issue to a public meeting with Marion County Commissioners in August.

"Whenever the community loses one of their own, it's huge," said Turner resident Lauri Beagle. "Especially when that person is young and had a lot of things going for her, it hurts, it hurts everybody."

Commissioners eventually agreed to reduce speeds at all schools on county roads this summer unless the schools themselves opt out.

The public works department has spent the past several weeks working to prioritize and install the signs in high-risk schools before the start of the school year.

"This has really impacted everyone," said Cascade High School student Hailey Nelson.

The county says installing 20 mph signs at Cascade High School was at the top of their list this summer. Many consider that a bittersweet victory.

"If there's something good to come out of this, I'm glad that these signs might save another kid," said Beagle.

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