COLUMBIA - A resolution that would order a study into the feasibility of building an overpass at Coming Street and the Crosstown is one step closer to passing, after a House panel sent it to the floor on Tuesday.

The resolution - introduced by Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, and inspired by the deaths of two 21-year-old College of Charleston students who were killed 14 months apart attempting to cross the highway - received unanimous approval when it came up for discussion at the House Education and Public Works Full Committee Tuesday afternoon.

In February, a Post and Courier investigation into the deaths revealed that the intersection is almost impossible to safely cross before the lights turn red. Pedestrians have no way to know that because no signs at the crosswalk warn them to stop in the median island and wait for the next set of lights.

Lindsey Ranz, 21, was out running and darted into the highway in front of a motorist who was entering the intersection on a yellow light on Jan 13, according to police reports. Hannah-Rose Elledge, 21, ran across the highway on a red light with a friend. They were struck about 2:30 a.m., Nov. 17, 2012. Elledge died, and her friend was injured.

Ranz' mother, Lynnette, said she was grateful the panel passed the resolution. She said she would now turn her attention to House members to stress how important this overpass could be for the safety of others.

"At the end of the day, Lindsey is not coming home," said Ranz after the meeting. "I don't know why she was taken. But I'll do it anyway because she deserves it."

Cynthia Roldan can be reached at 708-5891.