Carr, An Athlete And Young Community Activist, Was Struck And Killed By A Drunk Driver On The Arterial In July, 1995 While Crossing The Road On His Bike
Signs On Both Sides Of The Bridge Will Inform Drivers That The Bridge Is Named for Corey Lee Carr
(UTICA) – State Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi were joined today by other community leaders, State Transportation Department representatives, and family members today, officially naming the pedestrian bridge across the North-South Arterial in West Utica in memory of Corey Lee Carr.
Carr was 13 when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver in July, 1995 while crossing the Arterial on his bike near the location of the pedestrian bridge. Common Council members approved legislation in December, 2015 asking the state to dedicate the bridge in Corey’s name. Last year, Governor Cuomo signed legislation into law sponsored by Griffo and Brindisi officially designating the structure as The Corey Lee Carr Memorial Bridge. At today’s ceremony, signs were unveiled on the Arterial on both sides of the pedestrian bridge marking its designation.
State Senator Joseph Griffo said: “Unfortunately, we hear far too often about the awful impact that drunk driving can have on families. In Corey’s case, the life of a teenager who had so much potential was tragically taken way too soon because of a drunk driver. The pedestrian bridge crossing the Arterial is intended to allow those trying to cross the road with a safe alternative to do so and to hopefully prevent what happened to Corey from happening to anyone else. It is my hope that people will utilize this bridge and that now, every time they do, they will see the signs and think about Corey and the heart-breaking toll driving drunk can have.”
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said: “Improving safety for pedestrians and drivers was one of the main reasons the Arterial was redesigned and significantly improved. It is my hope that when people see the signs for the Corey Lee Carr Memorial Bridge that they will stop and think about the importance of driving safely and not drinking and driving, and that they remember the tragic loss of a young man with so much promise. Every time someone uses this pedestrian bridge, it means they’re crossing the Arterial safely, because unfortunately, not everyone driving follows the rules of the road,” Brindisi said.
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said: “There is nothing more tragic than when a young person loses their life, especially someone like Corey who had unlimited potential. As a community, we must be diligent in combatting drunk driving. We are all hopeful the reconstruction of the Arterial will significantly enhance safety and prevent these types of tragedies in the future. Let these signs, in Corey’s honor and memory, serve as a permanent reminder that safety is a top priority and that life is precious.”
LaVerne Carr Kemp, Corey’s mother said: “Corey was a bright, energetic 13-year-old kid before he was killed. He was already a positive influence in the community—an excellent student whose passion was playing basketball. He played it day and night no matter the season. In the snowy winter months, he would shovel the basketball court in order to play. He also excelled in football and basketball; he was a true athlete. He was a member of the Young Scholars Program at Utica College, which now gives out a scholarship in his name, and was a member of the Mohawk Valley Community Action Teen HIV/AIDS prevention group. The dedication of this pedestrian bridge just yards from where he was killed is such a fitting tribute that will help keep his memory alive for many years to come.”
Participants heard from the Assistant Commissioner of the State Department of Transportation, Sean Hennessey, explaining the agency’s role in the project. Mrs. Kemp thanked Utica Common Council members Dave Testa and Mark Williamson, and Lonnie Jenkins of the Utica City Youth Bureau, who provided valuable support to her family for the renaming initiative.