“This is Jazzy’s legacy.”
That was the powerful message as a new crossing in memory of Sheffield teenager Jasmyn Chan was unveiled in an emotional ceremony.
Relatives and friends of the 14-year-old, tragically killed in a hit-and-run on busy Normanton Road, Intake, watched as the crossing was officially opened by Jasmyn’s parents.
Balloons bearing messages for heroine Jasmyn – who was honoured with a national award for saving the life of her friend Tia Tucker by pushing her out of the way of the car – were then released in nearby Richmond Park.
Resident Sandra Bradley, who started a 12,571-strong petition calling for the crossing, said: “This is Jazzy’s legacy, in the hope that we will be able to cross this extremely busy stretch of road more safely.”
Sandra, who was almost drowned out by traffic noise and moved to tears, said children had already used the crossing to access the park in a ‘sight not seen for decades’.
She added: “The community now have some control over this stretch of road.
“For generations to come, Jasmyn will always be remembered, especially by the local community and always will be in our hearts.”
Jasmyn’s mum Paula McCullie and dad Peter Chan bravely attended the ceremony, close to the spot where Jasmyn was hit in May 2014, but were overcome with emotion and did not wish to speak.
When the balloons soared over the park relatives were moved to see jet streams crossing in the sky – which they took to be a ‘sign’ from budding architect and Birley Community College student Jasmyn.
Sandra added: “She always sends a sign – whether it’s a rainbow – every event we’ve had she sends a sign and that’s what we believe.”
The £450,000 puffin crossing has been in use since the start of this month after being as installed by Sheffield Council following the petition last year.
Contractor Amey built the crossing in 31 days after legal issues delayed the scheme.
Staff also created special signs reading ‘Jazzy’s Crossing’ and a jasmine plant has been planted on one side.
Figures released after Jasmyn’s death showed people were still speeding on the road and a radar check used just this month found drivers travelling at an average speed of 39mph on the 30mph road.
James Colliver, associate assistant principal at nearby Outwood Academy City school, said after the opening: “It is a notorious road, there’s been a lot of injuries on here in the past and it’s taken someone to lose their life to get the crossing in her memory.
“So people need to just recognise the speed limit and making sure they’re sticking to it.”
He said the crossing was a ‘breakthrough’ and people had chosen not to go to the school or use the park because the road was unsafe.
Mr Colliver added: “So I believe now that we will get more people using the park as it should be used and hopefully we’ll get students passing through during peak times and more walking to school – hopefully now they know they can do that with a safe crossing in Jazzy’s memory.”