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'This place is so dangerous': Early morning stroll turns deadly in Racine

30 mph speed limit sign in Racine
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 18:50:02-04

RACINE — An early morning stroll turned deadly when a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run crash. It happened Wednesday in Racine near Spring Street and Chicago Street.

“To think that somebody died on this stretch of road is kind of insane to think about,” Kerrie Durand said.

Racine Police were called to the area just after 3 a.m. for a report of a hit-and-run.

"Eventually it was going to happen because people just don’t pay attention around here,” Durand said.

Officers found a 45-year-old man lying in the road. First responders tried to save him but couldn’t. The only description police have of the car is it’s an SUV.

Don Rees used to walk Spring Street almost daily.

"This place is so dangerous, Spring Street. There’s no courtesy,” Rees said.

Spring Street has a posted speed limit of 30 mph, but neighbors say it's laughable to think people drive anywhere close to that speed limit.

"It's very, very busy," Patti Albrecht said. "Nobody drives the speed limit. They think it's a racetrack, I swear."

Albrecht has lived on Spring Street for about 20 years. She's seen her fair share of crashes.

"It seems like monthly there are accidents out here, maybe more," Albrecht said. "Two cars have come down Chicago (Street) and hit our house. It ripped our front sunroom away from the house, and (another crash) hit the gas meter. There's nothing the city seems to be able to do about it."

“To think that somebody died on this stretch of road is kind of insane to think about.” — Kerrie Durand

Albrecht says she's contacted the city to do something about its section of Spring Street. She hopes they can get a stop sign, flashing lights, anything to help people slow down. Unfortunately, she hopes Wednesday morning's deadly crash will be the wake-up call they need.

The deadly crash happened in Alderman Sandy Weidner's district. She said, "That is a dangerous intersection. The problem is, we can put all of the signs and lights you want, but it's not going to stop the drivers from speeding through there. What has to change is people's behavior. Probably what we need is more enforcement of the speed laws."

Weidner says they added flashing lights some 25 years ago after a child was killed by a driver. With this most recent crash, she says they will revisit what to do in the ever-changing Spring Street corridor to make it safer.

"We have a Public Safety and Licensing meeting on Tuesday," Weidner said. "I'm going to be asking at that time for recommendations from the Police Department and Engineering on what we can do to improve safety along that street."

The intersection was closed for about five hours. Police are actively looking for the driver involved in this deadly crash and are asking anyone with information to call their investigations unit.