The California State Assembly passed a resolution to honor a girl whose death in San Francisco at the hands of an allegedly drunk driver last year helped galvanize local resolve to improve pedestrian safety in the city, Assemblyman Phil Ting’s office announced Monday.
The resolution would place a plaque on Sloat Boulevard where Hanren Chang was killed on her 17th birthday as she was crossing the street at Vale Avenue around 11:20 p.m. on March 2.
It passed the state Assembly 74-0 and now will go to the state Senate for further review, according to Ting’s office.
Chang’s death prompted city officials to install a pedestrian safety beacon at the intersection and helped to create a larger discussion citywide on pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
The driver who allegedly hit Chang, identified as Kieran Brewer, pleaded not guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges shortly after the crash. Prosecutors said he was driving with a 0.09 percent blood alcohol level, barely above the legal limit.
“Losing Hanren was a wakeup call for our community to change,” Ting said in a statement Monday. “I salute the Chang family for their courageous leadership in keeping us on task to improve pedestrian safety.”
The girl’s parents said in a statement that the efforts to improve safety have been some consolation following her death.
“Hanren has been a selfless girl cheerleading our families and everyone around her since she was born,” Dr. Wenhan Chang and Dr. Chia-Ling Tu said. “Her passing has devastated all of us.”
Scott Morris, Bay City News