Balloons mark fifth year since teen's death on Highway 195



Posted on January 17, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 9:10 PM

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- Friday marked a somber anniversary on Highway 195 at Cheney-Spokane road, as work to make the overpass there safer had yet to be completed.

Friday marked five years since Lorissa Green, 16, died in a wreck while pulling out on the road.

Dozens of balloons lined the road in mid January in remembrance of Green.

WATCH:  In her death Lorissa gave life

Transportation officials said nearly 30 crashes have happened at the intersection of Cheney-Spokane Road and Highway 195 in the past five years.

Green’s mother went before the State Transportation Committee pleading for an improvement at the intersection.  The Committee agreed.

WATCH: Construction begins at dangerous Spokane intersection

Last March, The State Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking ceremony to construct a new interchange. It will eliminate left turns there onto and off the busy highway.
WATCH: Weather suspends Cheney-Spokane Road interchange work

The project was suspended for winter but was expected to be complete in the spring.

Debbi Hammel, Green’s mother, said the haunting memories are still fresh.  Green was T-boned on January 16, 2009 and the next day she died.

“I don't ever forget so we just try to live life the same the way we always did before
for the most part you just learn to relive,” said Hammel.

Green would have been 21-years-old in 2014.

“She was a pretty good kid. I miss that spunky attitude in our household. She always kept me on my toes,” said Hammel.

Hammel said she is keeping the memory of her daughter alive through change. She fought hard for the safety changes at the intersection.
“Ultimately, I think she'd be excited she has such a big project that she was a part of,” said Hammel.

Hammel hopes to get the overpass named after her daughter.

“I think she would want people to be happy and remember the good,” said Hammel.