PCH — The father of a 13-year-old girl who was struck and killed while walking along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu launched on Monday a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary on the perils of the heavily-traveled roadway.
Michel Shane is the producer and creator of the documentary, “PCH: Probably. Cause. Harm.” The documentary’s inspiration is Shane’s daughter Emily, a former Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District student, who was struck by a car and killed while walking down the 29000 block of PCH in April 2010.
The driver, Sina Khankhanian, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison in June of last year. Prosecutors said at the trial that Khankhanian was suicidal over losing his job and problems with his girlfriend. Prosecutors argued he was speeding on PCH for 17 miles when he intentionally struck the teen, who was walking along the highway.
Shane is hoping to raise a minimum of $35,000 by Aug. 21, he said. As of presstime, Shane had raised $350.
The documentary would focus on a section of PCH that runs through Malibu, Shane said.
In 2010, there were four fatal collisions along PCH in Malibu and two more in 2011, according to data from the California Highway Patrol. Countywide there were 12 total fatal collisions in 2010 and 11 in 2011, data showed.
“There are accidents everywhere in local neighborhoods on all streets. It’s the nature of the situation. You’re driving, something happens, you don’t react,” Shane said. “We are going to talk to a lot … of experts … on … what can be done to make this safer.”
Shane said he wants “immediate solutions.” The documentary, directed by a young film maker who has been working with Shane at the Emily Shane Foundation, will interview law enforcement, engineers, and designers to find answers, he said. The foundation was formed by Shane and his wife, Ellen, in honor of their daughter’s memory.
He said he hopes the documentary serves as a template to help other communities that have highways running through them. If the documentary makes a profit, Shane said half of it will go to the film makers and half to the foundation.
Once available, he said he hopes to give it away for free to schools and libraries. It would take about six months to make the documentary once the Kickstarter campaign hits its monetary target, Shane said.
He said in his daughter Emily’s name, “everyone’s being helped.”
“The road becomes safer,” he said. “The kids are able to move forward.”
On the Emily Shane website, there is a “pay it forward” campaign the parents launched with a goal of getting 100 million people to document their good deeds on the site. The family also launched Successful Educational Achievement (SEA), which pairs children who have difficulty in the classroom with mentors that can help them grasp material and get organized. When she was in the second grade, her parents and teachers realized that Emily was having difficulty processing the information she was learning in school.
To donate, visit www.kickstarter.com and search “probably.cause.harm.”