On July 12, 2011 Kara Micciche, 17, of Pasadena, and her boyfriend, Sean Snyder, 19, of Severna Park, were struck by a car at 8:45 p.m. while crossing the southbound lanes of Ritchie Highway to attend the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Department’s annual carnival. Micciche was killed and Snyder seriously injured.
Shortly after Micciche’s passing, her family began campaigning for the installation of a crosswalk at the intersection to improve safety. Spearheaded by her aunt Patty Mohr, in just a few months over 1200 signatures were collected. On March 14, 2012 their efforts came to fruition with the dedication of a crosswalk and pedestrian signals at the intersection. Though still feeling the pain of their loss, Mohr says of the family, “We are very happy.”
The dedication was part of Pedestrian Safety Day, held in memory of Micciche. At the ceremony, which was attended by many family and friends of both Micciche and Snyder, County Executive Leopold said, “It is important that we learn from these incidents,” citing that one in five motor vehicle fatalities are pedestrian related.
Peter Moe, Section Chief for the Maryland Highway Safety Office reiterated the County Executives remarks, saying traffic fatalities should not be looked at as just statistics, but “as pieces of our family, members of the community, lost that we will never get back. Pedestrian safety is a responsibility we all share.”
At the ceremony, Micciche’s younger brother, Joey was surrounded by his classmates. Says Brenda Geidel, his teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, “We felt it was important to give the students the chance to give Joey their support at this time.”
Also in attendance were representatives of the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland. Several months before the accident, Micciche has indicated she wanted to be an organ donor if anything ever happened to her. Upon her death, she helped seven people she never met and her family encourages others to sign up by visiting www.donatelifemaryland.org.
The intersection is one of more than a dozen along Ritchie Highway in northern Anne Arundel County being upgraded with crosswalks for pedestrian safety, though the family does not see their mission as complete. They are now circulating another petition, one asking that it be a requirement of law enforcement to do drug and alcohol testing in the event of a life threatening injury or fatality involving a motor vehicle. For more information about this effort, email firstname.lastname@example.org.