Family vows to make dangerous street safer


September 17, 2012 5:50:47 PM PDT
A San Jose family is hoping to make some changes in their neighborhood after their 8-year-old child was killed last Friday. Matthew Dihn was hit by a truck just yards from his home. He was riding a small electric motorcycle at the time.

Since Friday, a memorial for the child has been growing in San Jose. Through the weekend, a collection of balloons, candles, cards, and incense has grown. In the Buddhist tradition, incense is lit to keep a spirit warm and candles are used to help light the way for a spirit to ascend to the heavens. Dihn's family says they'll keep the street side memorial going until the child is laid to rest. "That hasn't happened yet because they did not release the body yet. So, we're going to wait," Matthew's uncle Hieu Dihn told ABC7 News.

Matthew was killed Friday afternoon right in front of their home. He was riding a "pocket cycle," a miniature electric motorcycle, and had pulled into the street when he was run over by a large pick-up truck. Matthew was not wearing a helmet. Police say the driver of the truck is cooperating with the investigation and while they have not said speed is a factor, neighbors say vehicles often drive down the street way too fast. "A lot of cars come and speed," neighbor Joanna Rojas said. "They don't see the kids. There's a lot of kids."

Matthew's mother and father placed balloons at the growing memorial. His mother said she's especially disturbed by comments left online accusing them of not properly supervising their child. The family says this was a tragic accident and they want to do all they can to prevent someone else from getting injured or killed."Either talk to the council or the district or something, that they would let us put a sign or a speed bump. If they don't pay for it, our family will pay for it," Hieu said.

The Dihns say they want to start a petition to get those speed bumps or signs set up on Farm Drive to slow vehicles down. Since the tragedy, a lot of people have been offering the family money to help pay for the funeral, but the family has been refusing some of that money. However on Monday, they decided to actually collect some of that money not for the funeral, which they say they can afford, but to help pay for the speed bumps if the city of San Jose cannot pay for them.

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