5-year-old boy's death prompts safer roads in Kings County

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Cal Trans already had plans to break ground for a roundabout in September, but because of Luis Flores' death, officials say a temporary four-way stop with flashing lights will be installed next month. (KFSN)

Luis Flores died in a crash on Highway 43 in Kings County last month.

Just outside of Corcoran, there are reminders on the side of the road of how fleeting life can be. Adriana Padilla lost a son there.

"He's gone, but he's always going to be in my heart," she said.

Her son, Luis Flores, was just five years old, and he was always by his mom's side at her fruit stand.

"In those five years, he gave me so much love," she said.

April 22 was their last day together. Adriana, Luis and his 10-year-old sister were driving home when they were crossing Highway 43 on Whitley Avenue. After stopping for the sign, and they ended up in the path of a big rig.

"The last thing I remember is the hit," she recalled. "All I have in my ear is the sound of the truck hitting the car."

Luis was still breathing and he was flown to the hospital where he died, her daughter was hurt but she survived. Two days later, there was another crash at the same intersection, and a town hall meeting was called to make it safer.

"Unfortunately, it took some serious accidents, unfortunately, a life was lost here," council member Raymond Lerma said.

Lerma and Kings County supervisor Richard Valle have been asking for change since 2009.

Cal Trans already had plans to break ground for a roundabout in September, but because of Luis' death, Valle says a temporary four-way stop with flashing lights will be installed next month. For Adriana, this gives her comfort.

"I know he's going to save a lot of lives," she said.

Three days before her son died, he gave her a ring and told her he wanted to be a superhero to help people. So, his organs were donated.

"Every time you think about a hero, think about super Luisito because he's a hero now," Adriana said.

When the roundabout is built there will be a plaque with Luis' name to remind everyone of the little hero from Corcoran.
Related Topics:
traffickings countysafetychild killedCorcoran
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