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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — An effort to erect a permanent memorial honoring the life of a Jamestown teenager killed during a hit and run crash just over one year ago is taking shape.
In 2021, 15-year-old Alexis “Lexi” Hughan was crossing West 6th Street on New Year’s Eve when she was struck and killed by an 18-wheel car carrier, allegedly operated by an impaired driver.
Spearheaded by community member Missy Paterniti, the memorial, dubbed “Lexi’s Corner,” could consist of both benches and musical instruments. This would be placed at the corner of 6th and Washington Streets in Dow Park, just feet from the crash scene.
“When it started, it was just a talk about how we can clean up the side of the road,“ explained Paterniti. “And then it turned into, what can we put there?”
The benches, which are similar in design to those at Jamestown’s Skate Park, are already in production, thanks in part to community support raising close to $20,000 dollars
“I know projects like this could take three years to do in total, in completion,“ stated Paterniti. “But honestly I think that the benches could be in there by summer.”
While the benches are in production, Paterniti would like to also install musical equipment, a longtime passion of the late teen. But, this costs more than what she has raised so far.
“This project right here in total should cost $25,000 dollars, around,“ explained Paterniti. “The playground equipment, like the drums, are $0 to $5,000 dollars. Which you know they’re not zero, so we’ll go $5,000 dollars. And the chimes were $5,000 to $10,000 dollar range, which honestly I don’t think is that bad.”
To help cover the thousands of dollars needed for equipment, there will be a fundraising basket raffle at the end of January.
“One of the things I’ve been working on the last month is creating a raffle,“ said Paterniti. “We’re going to do a basket raffle January 28th at the Lakewood Lake Lodge. I already have it already set in place.”
While local lawmakers are fond of the memorial, they are waiting to officially approve the project until measurements and plans are finalized. Once approved by the appropriate departments and city’s Cooperation Council, an official resolution would be voted on by City Council.
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