Family demands safety changes after son killed in Syracuse crosswalk

DAVIS COUNTY – A Syracuse family is calling for safety changes at a crosswalk where their son, Dakota Kilburn was killed. But their demands may not be met.

In April, 14-year-old Dakota Kilburn was hit and killed while crossing in a crosswalk near Syracuse Junior High. His family and friends were devastated.

“I would hate to see another family go through that,” said Burke Kilburn, Dakota’s father.

Kilburn is trying to cope with his son’s death by giving back. He is asking UDOT to install a walking bridge at the crosswalk.

Jacquelyn Phillips is helping out with those efforts. Her son, Dylan, was with Dakota when the accident happened.

“When my son called me that night minutes after it happened to let me know what had happened, he didn't tell me where to go, I just automatically knew that it was that crosswalk,” Phillips said.

She surveyed hundreds of residents about what safety measures they’d like to see in the crosswalk.

She said 78 percent chose a bridge or tunnel to keep kids off the street.

“The fact that there's only been on fatality is really a miracle," Phillips said. "They are playing a gamble with this crosswalk."

UDOT has plans to install a crossing signal with lights at the crosswalk this summer. Vic Saunders, UDOT Regional 1 spokesperson, has met with Dakota’s family and is open to their suggestions. However, he said a crossing bridge or tunnel may not work.

“This location has other problems that need to be dealt with," Saunders said. "It's very narrow between the sidewalk and the roadway. The schools are right on top of the roadway, so we would have to do some engineering.”

Kilburn says flashing lights are not enough.

He has reached out to Syracuse city leaders, and while they don’t make the final decision, Mayor Terry Palmer tells Fox 13 they will let UDOT know which plan they prefer.

“We just hope to get them on our side and use their position to help convince UDOT to do the right thing,” Kilburn said.

Kilburn hopes to get more answers. He will meet with UDOT, city leaders, and Davis County School district on May 25th.