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Home Government Maggie and Jim Amico Call for Change - In Their Own Words

Maggie and Jim Amico Call for Change – In Their Own Words

The following MyRye.com guest column is by Maggie and Jim Amico. The Amicos son Jarrid was killed in a tragic accident on Midland Avenue in 2006.

As many of you are aware on April 17th, 2006 our son Jarrid was struck by an oncoming van when he attempted to cross the Midland Avenue block right near Belluscio's Restaurant. On April 18th, at 3:40am our son Jarrid lost his battle for life due to multiple internal injuries. When questioned the driver of the van indicated that he "never" saw our son. If he were approaching a stop sign or some other traffic device, we are sure the outcome would not be the same today. 

Jarrid Amico

We have asked the Mayor and the city council since June of 2006, on numerous occasions, to please do something about Midland Avenue's pedestrian safety since our son's accident. This April 18th 2009 will mark three years since the loss of our son and still no action has taken place on Midland Avenue. 

Just recently there have been discussions regarding adding a cross walk at the corner of Goldwin and Midland Ave, and the possibility of grading the road so  that it will potentially slow traffic down. We were told at the April 15th meeting of the Rye City Council that this is going to take a while. How much longer will we and the citizens who live on Midland Avenue have to wait for improved safety measures?  Three years since the death of a child is not long enough? 

The following is what we would like to see done to improve safety on Midland Ave: 

1) Police presence is crucial and  would enforce speeding and obeying of traffic signals, not just on Midland Avenue, but all of the schools especially during drop off and pick up times, and on the weekends when literally several hundred children and adults are visiting the soccer fields

2) Stop signs, which will force people to come to a full stop instead of being able to pick up massive amounts of speed between lights.

3) Several Crosswalks. Right now there are no crosswalk indicators anywhere on Midland with the exception of the three lights at Apawamis, Playland Parkway, and  Manursing

We believe if these measures are taken, then pedestrian safety is something we can finally accomplish in Rye.

-The Amicos


  1. Jim and Maggie, my sincere condolences again for your heavy loss. You are an inspiration to us all.

    Once upon a time, citizens came first. Once upon a time, laws and procedures were used to help citizens, protect citizens and empower citizens. Once upon a time, the sitting administration dealt with issues and corrected errors in a timely, forthright manner. For those who might sense that this must be a fable, you have only to look at the pictures hanging in the council chamber in City Hall. Grainger, Carey and Johnson – to name a few – didn’t allow things to operate like this. Those who have been here these many decades and are not disingenuous know that.

    Thankfully Frank Culross agreed to again take the daily management reins – at least for a while. No one is going to succeed in pushing him around behind the scenes – their law degrees and political connections will not impress him. I hope Mr. Culross will oversee a fair review of the Midland Avenue traffic proposals and help bring responsiveness back into our civic dialog. From what I understand, things on this front are finally moving.

  2. I would like to thank Jay Sears for joining our crusade toward ABSOLUTE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY. As you all well know the Media has played a large role in my fight & I could not have gone this far without that assistance. To my friends who have shown me the path of direction to continue this long hard battle I THANK YOU with ALL MY HEART! This weekend was very difficult for my family.We received countless phone calls,emails,fb messages,showing us that we are in many thoughts/prayers & that Jarrid is sorely missed. Some of Jarrid’s classmates stopped by to let us know they “HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN”!!! After all the children is what this is all about. Yes,The City is moving forward with positive progress after 3 years. I could only hope this has taught all City Officals just how precious life really is & should never be taken for granted. NO PEDESTRIAN OF ANY AGE SHOULD RISK THEIR LIFE TO CROSS A STREET. It is the responsibility within their power of elected officials every where of ABSOLUTE SAFETY!

  3. To all that question what has transpired in Rye in recent years,

    There is one common denominator that has popped up in all of the recent issues being suppressed in Rye by Mayor Otis and a select few others involved. That common denominator is about liability.

    Chantal stated that Mr. Shew questioned the legal ramifications should the truth be known about the Gates’s permit process being done improperly.

    With regard to Hen Island, had the city admitted that there were violations, I would think that would show some degree of liability again.

    I will not even begin to question the repercussions of the Tim Chittenden fiasco if the truth is unveiled.

    Most tragically when Jarrid was struck on that unfortunate day, if the city had admitted Midland Avenue needed many recommended changes to avoid future accidents that again would have admitted liability. Instead of admitting mistakes were made and correcting the mistakes so they could not be repeated again, especially in the tragic death of a child, someone is trying to say we have made no mistakes.

    Everyone and every municipality make mistakes and most of the time, people only want to hear the words “I am sorry and we will make sure that it never happens again.” Unfortunately in Rye this administration not only refuses to state the words so necessary, that all of the victims need to hear but makes a poor attempt to act as if it is not responsible in any degree.

    In many of the issues confronting us today a simple “I am sorry” would have helped to start the healing process and correct the deficiencies. I do not in any way mean to compare the loss of the Amico’s to any of the other problems facing us today in Rye, for I know they have suffered a loss that can never be corrected or replaced.

    Let us please fix all of the above problems with traffic and safety at the top of the list. Rye needs a new administration that is will to step up to the plate admits responsibility and initiates remediation.

    Mr. And Mrs. Amico, I am truly sorry for your loss.

  4. I have lived in Rye for only 4 years and the number of children hit by cars in that time is shocking. There are 3 other times I can recall children being hit plus, no doubt, countless near-misses and those involving adults. Sadly for the Amico family they are enduring the worst outcome of them all, and it’s pretty obvious that there’s something wrong with the roads, drivers and pedestrians in Rye. The Council should be looking at protecting their youngest citizens, and Midland Road should be at the top of the list with the speedway-condition road running between two child-frequented areas of Midland School and the Rye Rec.
    The modus operandi of the Council seems to be denial until public pressure becoms too much (I use slow action on the Pond on Forest Ave and Hen Is as the basis of this view) … and encourage all citizens to rally with the Amico family to get the Council to pull their collctive heads out of the sand and instigate some safety measures.
    To the Amico family, Jarid is always in our hearts and minds as our children explore small amounts of freedom. Jarid will always be remembered by so many who, like us, do not even know you.

    Posted by: Rebecca Edwards | April 20, 2009 at 09:41 AM

  5. There can be no tragedy worse than that experienced by the Amico family. But the prevention of future similar tragedies is not to be found in a City Council action, but rather in educating children to be constantly aware and vigilant when crossing streets. I would hope the Rye community would support the Amicos in spearheading a campaign in our local schools to teach children safe habits that will protect them throughout their lives. Not a one time campaign, but ongoing, safety first awareness.
    Speeding was not involved in the dreadful accident that has changed the Amico’s life forever, nor in the accident on the Boston Post Rd. It is our responsibllty as a community to be sure our children have the knowledge and conditioning to protect themselves from such horrific incidents.

    Posted by: Concerned | April 20, 2009 at 10:19 AM

  6. Rebecca,Concerned,
    You have both,in my opinion hit the nail on the head!!! As I have ALWAYS stated Jarrid’s death WAS NOT the result of a speeding vehicle. That does not mean that roads such as Midland,Milton,Forest, all with major attractions for children do not have dangerous concerns……..
    SPEEDING! It is my opinion that with further education from home combined with the efforts within their powers from City Council,BOE,TTC,SRTS,RPD,RFD we can make Rye as safe as can be for all of our children of today & tomorrow.
    A community does not just exist of a select few…. it includes all of the formentioned Volunteer & Paid Services.
    WE ARE A WHOLE & MUST ACT AS ONE. I would be more than willing to spearhead such a campaign. I can not think of a more worthy legacy to leave behind. The message must start early & often for children of all ages. Safety Measures Should Not Start and Stop With One Street but they should ABSOLUTELY Start & Stop With One Tragedy!!!
    I’m ready….And I’m not hard to find!!!

    I know what my emotions do to me every time I am writing on this subject….. I most definitely know that it was not easy for her to write that as she struggled with her emotions while writing about who she called “HER LITTLE MAN”

  8. Jim and Maggie:

    Our family’s heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Your efforts to make Rye a safer place for all is appreciated by many and also a very worthy tribute to your son Jarrid.

  9. I want to thank everyone who remembered our son Jarrid on April 18th, former classmates, family and neighbors knocked on our door, sent emails and called on the phone, left flowers and cards. Also thank you to everyone on here who also sent their prayers and thoughts. As Jimmy stated Jarrid was my little man, and it is always a very emotional and heartfelt topic regarding Midland Avenue and his loss of life. I know that Jarrid would be proud of his father, a man who will not give up until something is done on Midland Ave (and eventually more streets in Rye). Which would not only keep his sister safe, but all of his friends and neighbors who cross that street everyday. Here’s to you Jarrid, your smile and good nature towards all will never be forgotten.


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