A father, whose 13-year-old daughter was killed on Pacific Coast Highway while walking to a friend's house, has exceeded his fundraising goal for a documentary about the dangers of the iconic roadway. The Hollywood producer plans to have his film released in theaters and distributed in schools to promote awareness and safety. Angie Crouch reports from Malibu for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Aug. 20, 2013.
A father whose 13-year-old daughter was killed on Pacific Coast Highway has exceeded his fundraising goal for a documentary about the dangers of the iconic roadway.
Walking from a friend's home to meet her father, Emily Rose Shane was struck April 3, 2010, along PCH at Heathercliff Road -- now dubbed Emily Shane Way. She died instantly.
The eighth grader was killed while walking along the right shoulder of a stretch of PCH that has been called "Blood Alley." There are no sidewalks along that section of highway, which includes bus stops, a shopping center and other pedestrian magnets.
Michel Shane's documentary has amassed $36,628 from 150 backers on Kickstarter as of Tuesday morning, a day before deadline. All funds raised for the film will go toward marketing, Shane said, because a major studio will not fund the documentary.
It aims to highlight the dangers -- and suggest ways to improve safety -- along the 27-mile highway that runs the length of Malibu, a city of 13,000.
"For me, this is important because it keeps her spirit alive so she didn't die in vain," said Shane, Emily’s father and a film producer best known for his credit on “Catch Me If You Can” and “I, Robot.”
Shane said he hopes the PCH film will gain momentum similar to Werner Herzog's 34-minute documentary about the tragic consequences of texting while driving.
“It’s unbelievable how many people have been hurt and killed on this little part of paradise. It’s a war zone,” Shane said.
Despite its focus on a growing list of fatalities along PCH, the film “is not a litany of sorrow,” Shane said, adding that it will explore ways to make the Malibu highway safer, like adding sidewalks, guardrails and stop lights.
Caltrans, which maintains PCH, insists overall the road isn't any more dangerous than other similar highways, but admits that certain inserctions, like Heathercliff Drive, where Emily died, do need safety improvements.
Authorities said the driver who killed Emily was suicidal. His erratic driving prompted six 911 calls in the minutes before the deadly crash, Shane said.
“No one was there to save her,” Shane said, pointing to insufficient traffic regulation along the, at points, difficult-to-access roadway.
Sina Khankhanian was found guilty of second-degree murder in the Easter Weekend crash, according to Los Angeles County court documents. His conviction came May 17, 2012, during his second trial – the first ended in a hung jury, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Since Emily’s death, her family has created a website calling on visitors to share their good deeds in memory of the slain girl.
NBC4's Angie Crough contributed to this report.
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