DES MOINES, Iowa — It has been more than a month since 14-year-old Ema Cardenas was hit and killed by a car while walking home from school. A group recreated her last steps Thursday to inspire change on the road where she died.
The march, led by Cardenas’ mother Anna Campos, started at East High School. It ended at East University Avenue and East 17th Street, which is where Cardenas died. A memorial for Cardenas still lines the fence marking the spot where she died.
The groups took two separate routes to get there. Campos led one faction up East 14th Street and down East University, while the other crossed East 14th Street and used Walker Street to get to East 17th Street.
Campos hopes Des Moines will build a HAWK crossing at East 17th and East University so that students can cross the road safely. She said she’s worried not just for East High students, but for students at the nearby Hiatt Middle School.
“Hiatt is right there on the corner, and there’s always teachers out trying to direct traffic,” Campos told the crowd. “That is not part of their job description to direct traffic.”
Three Des Moines city council members walked alongside the group: Joe Gatto, Carl Voss, and Linda Westergaard.