Family, community remember Carson High freshman

Petition available on to improve pedestrian safety

Janie Valenzuela, Lexi Rodriguez’s grandmother, speaks as Louisa Valenzuela, Lexi’s cousin from Tulare County, Calif., holds her during Tuesday’s vigil.

Janie Valenzuela, Lexi Rodriguez’s grandmother, speaks as Louisa Valenzuela, Lexi’s cousin from Tulare County, Calif., holds her during Tuesday’s vigil.
Photo by Jessica Garcia.

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Updated Feb. 1:

Carson High School freshman Lexi Rodriguez applied her bright, carefree attitude toward setting a good example for her younger brothers and her friends. She never became angry and she avoided confrontation “except with me,” her mother Katherine Rodriguez said fondly on Wednesday.

Lexi was an active cheerleader at school and attended her youth group faithfully at Living Stones Church and was ready to give out snacks to anyone in need, according to most who observed her interactions with others.

“She was giving, not a greedy girl,” Katherine Rodriguez said. “She loved showering people with gifts.”

Lexi Rodriguez, 14, died Sunday after she was struck by a car at the intersection of North Carson Street and Nye Lane. She was crossing the street with her boyfriend at 5:40 p.m. According to a news release, the scene was dark and Rodriguez’s boyfriend was not injured in the accident.

Deputies administered lifesaving medical attention, but paramedic units declared Rodriguez dead, the release said.

Family members and friends held two vigils this week in her honor at the scene of the accident as the Carson City Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit and the Nevada State Police continued its investigation.

On Tuesday during the second vigil, law enforcement members cordoned off a lane on North Carson Street.

Lexi Rodriguez


Katherine Rodriguez said she has two younger sons, Paul, 10, and Trinidad, 6, whom Lexi adored.

“When (Lexi) got baptized, she was doing it for herself but also for her brothers,” she said. “She wanted them to follow.”

Lexi also has an older sister, Topanga Jackson, who sang at the vigil, including one of Katherine’s favorite songs, “You Are My Sunshine.”

On Tuesday, Lexi’s English teacher Shelly Bale talked about Lexi’s leadership potential.

“She was very insightful, intelligent and giving,” she said. “She would give some of her snacks to anyone sitting around her. I think she was somebody, if she had a chance to live a little longer, I think she could have gone on to do great things. And it’s really heartbreaking to me that she lost her life like this.”

Bale said she heard the emergency sirens going off Sunday.

“I was stunned to get the phone call (about Rodriguez’s passing),” she said. “It’s the first time in 10 years that I’ve lost a student, and it’s really difficult to know what to do. … I will miss how she was really starting to come around in class and participating and she was so intelligent.”

Katherine Rodriguez said Lexi also made friends whom she also considered like family when they first came to Carson City less than three years ago and became “the one girl in a crowd of boys,” she said.

“She had one best friend … and they were thick as thieves,” Rodriguez said.

Students Daysi Rivera and Marena Cederstrom, freshmen at Carson High, who attended physical education or English classes with Lexi, said they were shocked to hear about her death.

“I was mostly in denial because out of all people, I just felt she was just a smart person, and it just doesn’t feel real,” Rivera said.

 “When I heard the news, I still didn’t want to believe it,” Cederstrom said. “My heart goes out to the family. … I feel so bad for Lexi and her family. It sucks not seeing her in class. I wish she was still here.”

Family and friends of Katherine and Lexi Rodriguez said they would like to bring changes to Carson City’s road infrastructure, not just that particular crosswalk, and urge improved driver attention and pedestrian safety. They’ve posted a petition on to install a pedestrian light to increase visibility at North Carson Street and Nye Lane and reduce the risk of accidents, but Katherine Rodriguez said it’s about more than that.

“I want blinking lights on that crosswalk,” she said. “I want them to press the button and (have drivers) see from half a mile before. And that’s not the only crosswalk. There are so many other places in Carson. … I honestly do not have the strength physically, but my mind is on fire. I want to see change. I want for something good to come from this and I know it’s not going to happen overnight. I know that. This was so needlessly unnecessary. This could happen to anyone.”

There will be a fundraiser at Pizza Factory at 3120 U.S. 50 East in Carson City on Friday, Katherine Rodriguez said, to help with funeral expenses for Lexi. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For information, visit

The family also has established a GoFundMe page to assist with expenses.


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