Looking for witnesses

Lynnette Ranz, mother of Lindsey, asks that anyone with information or who may have witnessed the fatal crash call her at 843-540-1218.

COLUMBIA - House members unanimously approved on Thursday the passing of a resolution that would order a study into the feasibility of building an overpass at Coming Street and the Crosstown.

The measure - introduced by Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston - has made its way through the House hastily, at the urging of lawmakers and the mother of a 21-year-old who was killed at the intersection in January.

"There is bipartisan support for this study from all parts of the state as evidenced by the seven co-sponsors," said Gilliard, when the bill was up for a vote. "Passage of this legislation in the House of Representatives today is a crucial step in ensuring safety in my home community."

The resolution was inspired by the deaths of two 21-year-old College of Charleston students who were killed 14 months apart attempting to cross the highway. 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's mother, Lynnette, was at the Statehouse when the measure passed with 103 votes.

"I think that it's definitely something that has to be done," Ranz said. "To me it's a no-brainer."

The resolution will order the study and require results be turned in no later than Jan. 1. It now heads for the Senate, where Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, expects it to pass as well. He said in light of the two deaths, he believes a study is warranted.

"As the College of Charleston grows and development heads towards that end of town, you're going to have pedestrians, young adults and all walks of life crossing at that intersection," Kimpson said. "It's two deaths today but who knows what lies in the future."

Cynthia Roldan can be reached at 708-5891.