SANTEE, Calif. – New traffic signals are being installed in front of West Hills High School in Santee.
This comes after 17-year-old Ryan Willweber died in a crash, as he was making a left turn onto Mast Boulevard from a campus parking lot in April. Willweber’s car was t-boned by an SUV.
The city has since posted two “no left-turn” signs following complaints that the intersection was too dangerous.
“I definitely saw a lot of left turns and it’s really kind of stupid that they allowed us to do it in the first place,” said West Hills High senior, Lizzy Langdon. “But it’s always like, a really close call. It was only a matter of time before someone got hit.”
The traffic signals are expected to be fully operational by Friday.
The lights were originally supposed to go up at the intersection in 2016 but Pardee, a local residential developer set to begin construction across the school, worked with the city to expedite the project due to safety concerns.
Langdon, who was a friend of Willweber’s, said it’s a positive ending to a tragic accident.
“He did not deserve to die. He was so sweet and friendly to everyone,” she said. “Why is it the good people always die first?”
The Grossmont Union High School District said Monday, it is glad Pardee stepped in and installed the traffic signals earlier than expected.
The city said it also plans to put new striping on the street to make lanes more visible to drivers.