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Group Taking Action Following Deadly Year Of Hit-And-Runs

HOLLYWOOD ( — As the Southland moves into the new year, many residents still are coming to terms with the loved ones they lost to fatal hit-and-run crashes in 2014.

The "Finish The Ride" campaign seeks to raise awareness about an issue that made headlines far too frequently last year. They want to make 2015 a year of taking legislative action to stop hit-and-runs from ruining more lives.

"It's tough talking about it," Rory Montenegro said about the death of her son Jean Carlos.

Two years ago, Carlos was hit and killed in L.A.'s Mount Washington community while riding his bicycle home.

"I live with the fact that I 'll never see a grandchild, or go to a wedding for him, or anything like that," Montenegro said.

That grief has inspired her to take action and join Finish The Ride, which is organizing an awareness event on April 19.

The campaign was started by Damian Kevitt, who lost his leg after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle through Griffith Park in 2013.

"I could feel the road literally ripping at my skin and flesh at my back and my rear end, down to the point where it was almost to the bone," Kevitt said.

After Kevitt's accident the city of Los Angeles put up yellow poles to prevent cars from crossing over but they are now in pieces.

Kevitt and Montenegro want more to happen in the new year to make streets safer.

"When you start talking about 7,500 people sent to the hospital or killed every year in L.A. County, 19,000 people in the state of California, there needs to be laws passed," Kevitt said.

Montenegro said, "It's sickening."

California State Assemblymember Mike Gatto says he's going to reintroduce legislation this year to enact a yellow alert system to help law enforcement fight hit-and-run crimes.

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