Monday, February 02, 2009

ENOUGH! Another death on Palisades Drive

There was another death this weekend on Palisades Drive in Pacific Palisades, the long mountain road off Sunset Boulevard near the PCH that leads up to the posh Palisades Highlands housing development where stars like Ray Liotta, John Mayer and Steve Guttenberg reside. According to the LA Times: "an 18-year-old Pacific Palisades resident died after he lost control of his car and spun into oncoming traffic.

Nicholas Rosser was driving on Palisades Drive near Sunset Boulevard on Saturday when he collided head-on with a pickup truck at 5:50 p.m., said Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Rosser was pronounced dead at the scene."

This is apparently the third death on the road since 2007, and all three fatalities involved a student at Palisades High School (no alcohol or drugs were involved in any)-- including a recent incident in which a Palisades High School kid ran over a woman on his bicycle in the early morning hours.

Locals have been trying for years to get the LADOT to do something about the dangerous conditions on the the unlit, unsafe racetrack that's creepily lined with memorials to the victims of its twists and turns (Ray Liotta himself was arrested for DUI back in 2007 after he slammed his Escalade into a couple of parked cars on the road).

One parent has a Flickr page dedicated to lives lost on the deadly two-mile stretch ("People Die on Palisades Drive") and pointing out that "center dividers, sidewalks and bike lanes would go a long way to fix this problem."

And today, a group including top Hollywood scribe Steve Zaillian is demanding action from local officials like Bill Rosendahl (the same ones who pat themselves on the back for spending our money on costly Tsunami Hazard Zone signs) and is holding a meeting tonight.

There's a meeting tonight. Here's the email notice we just received:

Dear Neighbors:

After the occurrence of another fatal accident on Palisades Drive (Saturday) we are requesting immediate action by the City of Los Angeles to implement safety measures on Palisades Drive and Sunset Blvd.

A meeting will be held at Rustic Canyon Park, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, 8:00 PM, Gallery Room. We want to discuss possible solutions to traffic issues on these high risk streets, and send a letter to City officials requesting immediate action. Those of you not able to attend, we know you are as concerned as we are, so please forward the attached letter to Councilman Rosendahl (BillRosendahl@aol.com) and Mayor Villaraigosa (mayor@lacity.org) with any changes you deem appropriate.

Please forward the attached letter to all of your contacts in the Palisades / Brentwood area.

Thank you for you concern.



Anonymous said...

I certainly hope no one is seriously thinking of making changes to Palisades Drive because a teenager killed himself by driving on the wrong side of the road in broad daylight on Saturday.

In the past three years there have been three fatalities on this road:

1. A teenager drove on the wrong side of the road going down and crashed into a car, killing himself.
2. A teeanger biking on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the road going down crashed into a pedestrian walking uphill killing her.
2. A teenager drove on the wrong side of the road going up in broad daylight crashed into a car, killing himself.

Speed bumps, extra police, signs and other foolishness on this four mile stretch of road would not have saved any of these people. Banning teenagers from driving would have. Do we seriously want to ban teenagers on this road, even knowing that it would have saved three lives? Because that is the only logical measure that would have helped.

We love the Highlands for its pristine beauty. Punishing the entire population of this lovely place with speed bumps, traffic lights, more cops etc, won't solve anything, and will ruin one of the most scenic urban drives in Los Angeles. Let's take responsibility for our own kids' driving and not force everyone else to share the pain.

Anonymous said...

As a Palisades Highlands resident..I couldn't have said it better than "Anonymous".

Anonymous said...

I agree that Palisades Drive, although it invites fast driving, isn't the real problem. The real problem is the refusal of the city to put in crosswalks and/or stops signs on upper Palisades Drive. With all the driveways and side streets on the more populated part of the drive, this is where the emphasis on safety should be. The great reflectors on Palisades Drive is about as good as safety markings get.

Anonymous said...

Dear Neighbors,
I have lived in the Highlands for over 30 years, and my own sons are lucky to be alive after having serious car accidents.

I hate to say this, but I think the problem is giving inexperienced youngsters fast cars, a luxury I didn't have when I was a teen.

let's not go for more laws...Maybe teens driving age needs to be increased to 18?

Also, please don't congregate at the scene of the accident, which is very dangerous...I had to stop quickly 3 times today...Have the memorial service at a park.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the road - if it was, it wouldn't just be teens that keep killing themselves, over and over and over...

I've lost two parked cars to speeding teenage drivers on palisades drive. Each and every time, it's some kid in a WAY overpowered performance car that they're parents foolishly bought them.

It was the same thing in 1983 when the girl wrapped her BMW around the light pole and it's the same thing now. Kids with more money than parental guidance will always die.

Anonymous said...

Roads can be fixed but stupidity is forever. Sorry to be harsh but so long as stupid kids are given cars by stupid parents, we'll continue to see stupid, senseless deaths.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should stop referring to him as "some teenager"
teenagers do stupid stuff all the time and even hearing stories about their friends dying won't change their behavior. He did something stupid and reckless, but that doesn't degrade his death at all. I'm sure if we could rewind he wouldn't make the same decision knowing the outcome either.

Anonymous said...

While all of these deaths can be attributed to "reckless teens," can we not also describe a lightly trafficked 2.5 mile stretch of road as an "attractive nuisance?"

Teens will continue to drive recklessly, fancy cars or not. Many municipalities have created measures to discourage teens from speeding on roads such as palisades dr. Furthermore, a divider would only enhance safety. I live in the highlands and don't want to build killed by a reckless teen or someone drifting over the line on a cell phone.

The tragedy is that another young life was lost, we all did stupid things as teenagers and, unfortunately, teen lives will continue to be lost to poor decisions, but we can mitigate the risk somewhat.

Anonymous said...

I live in the highlands and I knew Nick Rosser; he was a sweet law abiding kid. I don't think he had a fancy car and his parents are very involved and down to earth. He did something stupid with a horrible consequence. He was also friendly with Travis who died a year or so ago on the road. None of us know what to do, but I don't think anyone has named a solution that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, your irrational statements and blames are very unfair. Yeah, maybe teens can be "stupid" sometimes, but it's not like you never did the wrong thing or broke the law. I was a very close friend of Nick Rosser and my brother was very close to Travis. Unfortunately you have the courage to say these rude, nasty things that some of you are spitting out, but quite frankly it's not only the teenagers that make these mistakes of driving fast and not being as cautious as they should, it's adults too.

It's not only us "reckless 'yountsters' with fancy cars" speeding up and down this hill. This goes to show how oblivious you really are. The majority of the people speeding up and down this hill are adults. Way to be so bias towards us teen drivers, but look, it's not only us, and it's mostly not us at all. That fatal car accident of my dear friend could have just as easily been you, or someone you knew and cared about.

I see adults of all ages in all types of cars zipping through the canyon, all hours of the day. Whether it's the business man on his way to or from work in his multi-thousand dollar car, or the stay at home moms in her brand new Mercedes with her elementary kid in the back seat. You don't have one single group to blame for. It's just a coincidence that these accidents have been teenagers. Yes, we may be less educated and have less experience but let us not put our finger on one specific group of drivers here.

I am very sad for my loss, and you would be too. So to all you selfish people that have subscribed to this in a negative or rude way, or you are just a reader... Just think, that could've been and still could be your child, someone you know, or even you in the future. No good deed goes unharmed and this goes to show, but you all need to brighten up some. Stop being so ignorant and so care free about our loss. The only thing you obviously care about is your "stupid" scenic drive and you "urban" looking 2 mile road. Come on now everyone. If you ever by any chance take a second to look at his family or friends mourning the sight of these deaths just think of it as if you were in the situation we are in, still loving someone that we'll never see again in this life time.

We care about our friends and loved ones as you do. The highlands canyon will remain there forever and generations to come are to drive on that road. Your child (if you have one), or maybe even their child one day could be taking the same route you do. Please don't be so selfish, think of the others around you...

I love you Nick, forever in my heart. May you Rest In Paradise.

Anonymous said...

I have also lived in the Highlands for the last 15 years and I KNOW THAT ALL OF YOU PEOPLE CRITICIZING THE KIDS FOR SPEEDING ARE DOING THE SAME THING!!! I am sick and tired of ADULTS and TEENAGERS riding my bumper because I am going the speed limit or even 10 miles over it!!

Grow up people. I live on Palisades Drive and I am sick and tired of almost getting killed every time I come out of my drive way! EVERYONE AND I MEAN EVERYONE NEEDS TO HAVE A REALITY CHECK ON THIS PROBLEM.

I am going around with a pit in my stomach every time I go by each and every one of these memorials.. EVERYONE.... STOP SPEEDING!! EVERYONE. MAYBE YOU WILL TEACH THE KIDS SOMETHING BY EXAMPLE.

Anonymous said...

The last person to leave a comment was completely correct. Do only teens speed? No, and without knowing any of you I would bet everything that all of you holier-than-thou commenters have driven faster than 45 mph on that street. It is a terribly dangerous road with all the twists and turns. EVERYONE SPEEDS, EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES but to blame someone for their own death in such a public and cruel manner is reprehensible and disgusting. You are cruel people who will hopefully never experience what his parents, family and friends are going through, however if you do I hope that others are not as callous as you. I pray to God his parents don't read you hideously insensitive comments.

Anonymous said...

someone posted a comment after the one I said was the last comment, so I was referring to the post by Nick's friend.

Anonymous said...

(This is Nick's friend who posted the other comment) To those of you agreeing with me and being the normal sensitive people that human beings usually are, I really respect that and thank you. It's nice to know someone understands us and is on our side.
By the way, for now at least, I'll be known as the anonymous "J".

Anonymous said...

As someone who has too often driven the canyon very fast, I sympathize with those parents concerned about their kids. I would not be happy to see traffic signals or stop signs installed in the canyon. Yet I realize that teenagers often use poor judgment and usually do not have the requisite skills to drive a car fast, particularly around curves. So, as much as I don't want additional traffic restraints in the canyon, I know that those restraints are likely the only way to remove the temptation for a teenager (and others) to speed through the canyon. As my wife reminds me, one or both of our grown sons used to think it was a great kick to drive the canyon at night with his headlights turned off -- and that was years ago before there were any reflectors on the center line. Teenagers need our assistance in protecting them from their own lapses in judgment. Not sure how any of this would have helped the poor woman who was hit by a cyclist.

Alex said...

Okay, really? You guys are actually opposed to making a road safer, just because it will "ruin the most scenic drives in Los Angeles"??
Someone posted that they lost two parked cars due to speeding drivers. Are you an idiot? Why would you park your car on Palisades drive knowing the reputation it has for speeding cars. And saying teenagers are the only reckless drivers may be the most ignorant statement I have ever heard. You can't base your argument on a statistic that should really include adult drivers as well.
Don't blame teenagers "with more money than parental guidance" who "will always die." Who the fuck do you think you are? Nick Rosser and Travis deZarn were two very intellectual kids with loving parents. They didn't have the fanciest sports car. It's the fucking Palisades; nobody drives a fucking 1992 Ford Pinto around.
Face it, streetlights and speed bumps will save lives. It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 60. If the roads are safe, there won't be the same temptation and thrill of speeding through the canyons. So what if it ruins your view, wouldn't you want the roads safer for your children??
I went to school with Nick and I have to say, he was wonderful to be around. His life was cut way too short by a drive in the canyon. Palisades drive would benefit so much with just a few street lights.
Wait until a close friend of yours passes away, or even your child from the unsafe conditions of the road. Maybe even your child's best friend, you'll see how us teenagers feel about being called a "statistic" from this shitty dangerous road.

And come on, grow a sac and right your fucking name. Nobody's going to show up to your house looking for "Anonymous."

erin lipsey rosser (loved girlfriend) said...

my mom wrote the comment about everyone speeding and hoping nick's parents don't read this. my name is erin and her name is shayne. she just doesn't know how to use this stuff on what we call the internet. she doesn't mind if any heartless, callous, cruel, insensitive person knows what she has to say. she's been watching a family try to deal with the loss of their son. and a daughter (me) try to deal with the loss of her boyfriend. and she says "bravo" to your comment.
now this is coming from me.

alex and j, i completely agree with you about everything you have said. firstly, nick rosser was driving in the dark, whoever thought it was broad daylight is just plain WRONG. secondly, travis was also driving at night. what DID happen in broad daylight though, was a woman riding her bike was hit by a car driven by an ADULT reaching for her cellular device and lost track of where her car was going. so therefore, yes the teens were speeding and killed, but an adult killed another person, with THEIR irresponsible behavior. for all you people who think it's just teens, think again, and look at your spedometer next time you're driving. i know that standing at Nick's memorial today, i saw almost EVERYONE who drove was speeding (improper grammar sorry) and it made me sick. no teens were driving though and if they were, they were stopping by. you are all insensitive (minus mother, alex and j) unfeeling, cruel, and just horrible people who don't understand what it's like to lose someone so dear to you. you don't get it, i lost my boyfriend. put yourself in his family and my position. thank you for your time.

I love you nick!
you're my everything, my other half, the most important person to me.
your family loves you.

love your future wife,
erin lipsey rosser.
(eat that bitches, i just wrote my whole name)

Anonymous said...

I am yet another Palisades resident who feels immensely saddened by the loss of yet another life. I know enough of loss to understand the tragedy that this boys family and friends are going through and my deepest condolences are offered to them.

However, that said, it is no coincidence that the past three fatalaties have been caused by teens. (It is my understanding that the woman who was walking up Palisades Drive was killed by a teenager on a bike who was going downhill). Ask any insurance agent and they will verify that teens have the highest fatality rate when it comes to driving automobiles. This should not even be debated.

Yes. There are many adults who drive too fast on this road...fortunately they have either had the maturity, experience or luck to handle their cars and not cause these fatal accidents. It may simply be a matter of time.

I may be one of the few who actually drives the speed limit. I do so because I have two young children, a husband, friends, neighbors, etc. who I share the road with and I hope that they stay alive. This is not a dangerous road if driven properly. The problem is not the road only the drivers who are immature--whether they be teens or adults.
Unfortunately we dont live in a world in which we can expect people to be considerate or to think ahead. What we can expect is that measures be taken to limit the possibility of more deaths on this road. I am in favor of whatever it may be...more police presence, speed traps, hefty speeding fines, medians, etc.

Maybe we should report speeding and dangerous driving...? For example: I believe it was January 9th...a Friday...at about 3:30 pm that a black AUDI suv/wagon tailgated me on Chastain Pkwy just north of the Summit Club. The driver continued to weave behind me along Chastain even though I also had another car in front of me. When we all got to the stop sign at Palisades Drive and Chastain (another intersection that if not driven properly has proven to be quite dangerous) this car PASSED US BOTH ON THE LEFT SIDE and proceded to run the stop sign making a right and speeding downhill. Then I watched as they weaved along the single lane portion of upper Palisades Drive and passed a few more cars going down. Was this a teen? Was this a parent? Was it someone who worked in the area?
If this was an adult they should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. If this is a parent/employer and the car and time sounds familiar to you please act accordingly and remove the car keys from this person and save us all.

Please, children and adults, think ahead and know that your actions affect not just you but others on the road.

Anonymous said...

I too was harassed and tailgated by a blond woman in a brand new black Range Rover one night coming home from work. I was probably going about 50 which is 5 miles over the speed limit and she was going at least 80 or more! And I might add angry that I would not pull over for her to pass.

If any of you know of a blond woman in a brand new black Range Rover with no license plates on it yet, remind her of the young man who was just killed on Palisades Drive, the road she so freely feels she can speed and put others in danger, that he too was speeding not thinking anything would happen to him.


mario c said...

To all who are writing all these mean messages about this young man why dont you all look at the 3 mile strecht of piece of plank you are all carying in your own eyes and ears some of you dont even know the facts and your writing stupid messages is it a way for you to become famous in your community I am outraged you guys have no Idea what his family is going through, his poor girlfriend,his friends and even me why dont you all save your stupid comments for your community meeting and if you have any concerns regarding the road and safety show yourselfs and speak up. rather than taking time to write unnecesary comments for this youngman who just lost his life you all act like you were in the truck drivers seat, are you the ones that lost your life? ended up with sprain knees, compressed chest, elbows the tragedy of seing someone die,lost a close one in this accident? If you dont suffer from all these symptoms due to this fatal accident shut up and let this poor family mourn in peace. all of you who have left any type of negative messages specially all you adults.
Should be ashamed of yourselfs you are heartless, selfish, and have no compassion for mourning someones death, it is discusting. Find something better to do than to add to someones missery why dont you post a nice message maybe your points might get across better, oh! wait thats not human nature. enough said. my heart and condolences go out to the Rosser family his girlfriend and friends especially Erin dont listen to all these fools unless their willing to walk in my shoes or yours I will never be angry at Nick things happen for a reason and only God knows I pray God gives you strenght to get through this tragedy. God Bless You,
Mario C.

Ed said...

I've lived in the Highlands for 20 years now and I've lost count of the dead on Palisades Drive.

It's time to modify the road to prevent speeding. Trying to enforce the speed limit has not and will not work.

Reduce the road to one lane each way with a barrier in between. By having only one lane the odd person going the speed limit will limit all of the speeders-to-be behind them.

(By-the-way; I counted 6 LAPD cars on Palisdes Drive on saturday evening around 11 P.M. A crack down?)

Ed A.

Anonymous said...

Have some of you LOST YOUR MIND?

If this kid had been lucky enough to survive the accident THAT WAS CAUSED BY HIM...the conversation would revolve around how much jail time he deserves due to the fact he was reckless and almost killed another driver. HE SCREWED UP..going faster than he could handle..and the reason this will continue to happen is because you idiot parents talk about a "faulty road" instead of teaching your teens about ACCOUNTABILITY for their actions.

On the topic of safety..how about all the drivers in the left lane doing 30 mph..causing drivers to pass them on the right (left lane is a passing lane)..or people who never signal for turns..roll thru stop signs etc.

Having spent time living overseas i will tell you that drivers here are terrible when it comes to operating motor vehicles..as well as..very rude by not bothering to follow simple road etiquette as described above.

Other than requiring drivers to take "road and written tests" every year or two...more stoplights..speedbumps etc. will not change anything except to penalize everyone their commute.

Look up Darwin's theory..it will be explained to you there...

Anonymous said...

I've seen that black Audi wagon numerous times on Palisades Drive and that car is FAST. That man can drive!!!

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to the families of the teens that have died in auto accidents in the Palisades. I'm sure they were lovely young men who had promising futures, although to glorify their deaths and memorialize their momentary lapse of judgement, does not bring them back, nor will it save the next reckless teen driver, or some other innocent soul that they may collide with. Something has to be done to stop the anarchy on the roads around the Palisades, both by teens and adults a like. There is simply not enough police presence up here to be effective in enforcing speed limits. I would like to point out that this reckless driving is not exclusive to Palisades Drive. I live in the Alphabet streets and have had two incidents this year while walking my dog in the evenings whereby I was nearly hit by teenagers speeding around the Village streets, especially down the alley behind Swarthmore. The speeds at which these kids were driving was truly horrific for a residential neighborhood. They also speed up and down the residential section of Monument Street. I do not think as a community we are going to convince parents to take the fast cars away from their teens. Stand in front of Starbucks on a Friday or Saturday night after 9:00, it is a constant display of reckless teens speeding down Sunset, around corners, running red lights, in high performance cars and SUV's. If LAPD is too strapped to give us more patrol cars, then perhaps the city can institute a volunteer police program. My parents live in Moorpark in Ventura County, my father is a volunteer patrol car driver. They have no authority to make arrests or ticket drivers, however, they patrol the streets, radio in the license plate of problem drivers, along with their whereabouts and a patrol car is immediately dispatched. They have had great success in keeping their streets far safer than ours here in the Palisades. Nothing is going to stop these kids, not another death, or another monument at the scene of the accident, or counseling sessions at their local schools. These kids have to be made aware that if they drive recklessly, there is a high probability that they will be caught. Then I would implore their parents to suspend their license after their first speeding offense. Something just has to be done and now!

Anonymous said...

Someone actually said "Darwin's theory will explain this"?
Motherfucker, I wish you had left a name. People speed. No specifications as to what age group I'm thinking of, because contrary to popular belief, EVERYONE speeds. I see people tearing up Palisades Drive who are well into their 70's and 80's (no, really, look for yourself if you want proof). Nick did not deserve to die. Especially not just because he liked to drive over the speed limit. You fucking moron, see if he had been selling heroin or had a habit of killing puppies- something of that magnitude would merit you saying he deserved to die. But SPEEDING? Nick was my best friend, an extremely intelligent and motivated young man, with so much heart and boundless, selfless love for those around him... I can't believe anyone would say his death was to be expected or deserved, and I sincerely hope you get to know exactly how it feels to lose a best friend, a family member, the love of your life, any given LIMB or all of the above. You'll learn. FUCK YOU.