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Police looking for hit-and-run suspect who killed woman while walking her dogs on Christmas Eve

James Hanson pic
Posted at 7:43 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 14:26:51-05

BAY VIEW — Milwaukee Police are still looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a 36-year-old woman walking her dogs on Christmas Eve.

Jamie Hanson, known as James, was walking on the sidewalk with her two chihuahuas when police said an SUV speeding down Howell near Dover struck Hanson and took off, killing both Hanson and one of her dogs.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office released the findings of Hanson’s autopsy on Thursday. It said the SUV that struck Hanson hit her so hard that she landed 50 feet away from the impact. The details show just how fast the driver was traveling on a road with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour.

Owner of Tiny Tykes Puppies Darcy Turner remains in disbelief over what happened outside her pet shop.

“It’s a tragedy. It’s keeping me awake at night,” Turner said. “I want this person caught.”

When Turner heard the news, she drove two and a half hours back to Milwaukee to get the surveillance video off her store’s cameras, and share it with the public.

“Hoping the right person sees it and comes forward,” Turner said.

Just last year Turner said a drunk driver hit her car parked outside her shop.

She said speeding is a problem all year round on this stretch of Howell, with drivers hitting trees and other parked cars.

“People will go by like 40, 50 miles an hour,” Turner said.

Ryan Staehler, who lives in the neighborhood, said he’s concerned about walking in the area with his young daughter.

“I probably avoid this street if at all possible,” Staehler said.

Alderman Tony Zielinski of District 14, said he’s constantly working with traffic engineers to improve safety on Howell.

Over the years he said they’ve added bump-outs and changed parking regulations. He hopes to get a ‘speed table’ on Howell as they did on Klement Avenue.

“A speed table is like a speed hump, except it’s not as steep so it doesn’t slow down traffic as much,” Zielinski said.

However, he said they can only do so much.

“If somebody wants to drive recklessly and not follow the rules of the road there’s nothing we’re going to be able to do about that other than apprehend these people and hold them accountable,” Zielinski said.

Staehler and Turner just feel something needs to be done.

“I hope they can find a solution. I know it’s not easy because they want the flow of traffic, but you also have to look out for people that live in the area,” Staehler said.

Police are looking for a blue Jeep Liberty. It may have a roof ladder or bicycle rack hanging off the vehicle and has damage to the bumper.

If you have any information about what happened to call Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360.