Mother of Rochester boy killed by truck petitions for safer streets


ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Three weeks ago, 6-year-old Ryan Grantham Jr. was hit and killed by a truck on Thurston Road. His mother doesn’t want her son’s death to be in vain, so she’s asking the City to make that street safer.

News10NBC talked to RJ’s grieving mother about her efforts.

Farasa Brown is fed up. She says it’s not uncommon for drivers to speed up and down Thurston Road. Now she’s trying to put a stop to that.

“I actually last year was T-boned in the same spot right at the corner of Sawyer and Thurston,” said Brown.

She knows just how dangerous Thurston Road in the City’s 19th Ward can be. On June 23, her 6-year-old son Ryan was hit by a truck as he was crossing the street. While the driver was not charged, Brown is doing what she can to make the road safer. 

“My son was looking both ways, and I’m assuming he didn’t see the other truck coming when he stepped out and he was hit,” said Brown.

Wearing her son’s favorite color green, Brown and many others in this community are pushing for change. They’re petitioning the City to slow down traffic on Thurston Road.

“A risen crosswalk in this area and speed bumps just to slow the traffic down in this area,” said Brown. “Some days when I’m sitting out here you can see people going at least 40-45. I’ve seen at least six almost accidents at the intersection of Sawyer and Thurston just standing out here within an hour.”

Brown has collected over 2,500 signatures on both online and paper petitions.

“I’m just trying to make sure that nothing else happens over here. Like I said, I don’t want anybody else to go through what my family is going through. This is absolutely horrendous,” said Brown.

She’s also getting support from Rochester City Council Member LaShay Harris. The 19th Ward is in her district. She says speed enforcement is part of the plan.

“I believe that we should be able to do all, but of course with anything you got to make sure that we talk to our governmental partners — the County as well as the New York State D.O.T. And we already started that initiation, or at least I’ve already initiated those talks as well as speaking with the Mayor and his team about that,” said Harris.

A spokesperson tells News10NBC City Hall is looking at different options to improve safety on Thurston Road including reducing the speed limit, adding a new traffic signal, and better signage.

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