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Police investigating fatal overnight crash near 35th & Congress

Posted at 8:54 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 21:54:54-05

MILWAUKEE-- Milwaukee police are investigating after a woman was killed in a crash on the city’s north side in the early hours of the new year. Authorities believe that speed and alcohol could be factors in the crash.

Family identified the woman as 27-year-old Amanda Smith.

Police said they were called to the intersection of 35th and Congress about 3 a.m. Wednesday for a two-car crash.

Investigators determined that a car speeding south on 35th Street lost control and struck a car that was traveling in the opposite direction.

Amanda Smith, a passenger in the vehicle, died in the crash. Family told TODAY’S TMJ4 that she had three children, loved life and had plans to get married soon.

Smith’s fiancé was driving and remains hospitalized.

Police arrested the 44-year-old man driving the car that hit them for not having a valid driver’s license. Police also believe that he was intoxicated, according to authorities.

Debra Gay lives around the corner from the site of the crash.

“I have three grandsons that just got their license last year and I’m so concerned about them,” Gay said.

She fears about them traveling on road next to drivers acting recklessly.

“They go through red lights, stop signs. It’s just like no regard to life at all,” Gay said.

Alderman Khalif Rainey of District 7 said that there seems to be a trend of reckless driving in Milwaukee.

“This is something I think everyone is affected by,” Rainey said.

According to police by the end of 2019, there were 51 traffic deaths in the City of Milwaukee, 11 of them were pedestrians.

Now, the city is grappling with it's first traffic related death of 2020.

“It’s very disheartening to know that this is the way that we’re starting off the new year,” Rainey said.

Rainey said conversations are ongoing about increasing patrols, and adding measures like traffic cameras and speed bumps, but he said it’s ultimately up to drivers to change their behavior.

“The people who are behind the wheel of these vehicles are the only ones who can really control the outcome and the safety of our community,” Rainey said.

He hopes that some good can come out of last year’s tragedies.

“It should be motivation for us all to be a bit more cautious, to be a bit more thoughtful, a bit more responsible while we’re behind the wheel,” Rainey said.

Debra Gay couldn’t agree more.

“I hope that it’s better this year and I hope that the police department and the communities come together,” Gay said.

Police have yet to release the name of the suspect in the crash. They plan to hand over the case to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in the coming days.