Local author advocates for National Stop on Red Week following the tragic death of her mother in a Kenmore crosswalk

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Lori Koidahl at her mother's memorial garden
shows the book she wrote about how to navigate
grief and begin to heal

Not a day goes by that Shoreline resident Lori Koidahl doesn’t think about being a cautious driver. Her mom was tragically killed in a Kenmore cross walk on June 19, 2007 by a driver who ran a red light. The story, which made headline news, included six other pedestrians who were also injured with Lori’s mom, Kathy Cook, who was killed at the scene.

A truck speeding at 45mph hit a front loader, a massive piece of machinery that moves dirt, which sent the truck careening toward the pedestrians and crushed Lori’s mom against a utility pole.

This week Lori is placing a sign at her mom's memorial garden, which is at the intersection of the crash site. It promotes safe driving habits during National Stop on Red Week, August 2-8, 2020.

The signage serves as a reminder of the dangers in intersections and the importance of Stopping on RED. Preventing these crashes is in each driver’s control.

Stop On Red Week is observed in August to educate the public and bring awareness to the number and severity of intersection crashes. This event provides an opportunity to promote safe driving and remind drivers of the dangers of running red lights.

  • Between 2004-2018, an estimated 11,877 people were killed in crashes related to red-light running according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • In 2018, 846 people were killed, and an estimated 139,000 were injured in crashes involving red-light running.
  • In a 2018 national telephone survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 85 percent of drivers said it's very or extremely dangerous to speed through a red light, but 31 percent reported doing so in the past 30 days (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2019). 
  • The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) found that about half of red-light running crash deaths involve pedestrians, cyclists and occupants in vehicles struck by the red-light runners.
  • On average, two people died each day in red-light running crashes in the United States in 2018.

Lori Koidahl’s mom Kathy’s tragic death changed the trajectory of her life. She has become a safe driving advocate and recently wrote a book about her experience navigating the grief and healing she went through losing her mom in such an unexpected and traumatic manner.

Lori said, “I don't want others to have to go through what I went through. Especially when it can be prevented by paying closer attention to one's driving and “STOPPING ON RED.”

Her book is called Garden of Grief and can be purchased through normal retailers including Third Place Books, 206-366-3333 or HERE


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