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City Changes Traffic Light Sequence After Fatal Crash In South Boston

BOSTON (CBS) - The city of Boston has made changes in the traffic light sequencing at a South Boston intersection where a 30-year-old woman was killed and her 32-year-old boyfriend was seriously injured the night of September 11, both just on a weekend visit to Boston.

"I wish it wasn't real, I wish everything was just a nightmare," said friend Philip Nguyen. Nguyen said he and a group of friends had a dinner reservation with Diane Ly and Warren Cheng, some to meet Diane for the first time who's described as the love of Warren's life.

Ngyugen saw the commotion just before 9:00 p.m. at the corner of Summer and Melcher Streets but had no idea it was the couple hit by a white van in an intersection where residents have long complained about a traffic light that turns green for vehicles turning left while pedestrians are still allowed to cross despite several warning signs.

Diane Ly
Diane Ly and Warren Cheng (WBZ-TV)

It was Philip Nguyen who had to break the devastating news to Warren in the hospital. "That was the hardest thing for me to have to do, to face him and tell him that Diane didn't make it," Nguyen said. "He said it wasn't real. He had bigger plans for them, this was very serious."

Nguyen has established a GoFundMe page to help Diane's family, a young woman who was studying to be a nurse practitioner. "I find that talking to him about Diane doesn't make him sad, it makes him happy that we celebrate her life," Nguyen said. "That's what he's trying to do."

Melcher and Summer
Intersection of Melcher and Summer Streets in South Boston (WBZ-TV)

On September 13 the city did make changes to the traffic light, keeping cars at a red light while pedestrians cross the street with a crosswalk countdown and are reviewing other intersections as well, according to Chris Osgood, the city's chief of streets. "We've put more money and resources into it. It's a huge focus of my team. It was a terrible tragedy last week which underscores the importance and urgency of this work," Osgood told WBZ-TV.

Nguyen says he's uncertain of Warren Cheng's recovery. "He's doing the best he can in his situation," Nguyen said. "We have to continue going on and doing what we can to help Diane's family."


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