New safety plan after child was hit and killed - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New safety plan after child was hit and killed

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Changes could come to a street in Carbondale neighbors call dangerous. 

The complaints come after a 5-year-old boy was hit and killed last August on North Wall Street near Attucks Park. 

Police say the driver was speeding through the neighborhood when Amar Phillipe was hit. 

Neighbors say the limited number of pedestrian signs aren't enough to slow traffic down and the after the city did their own research, they found that out too. 

"What was the very highest speed you recorded during the speed study?" Councilperson Adam Loos asked Public Works Director Sean Henry. 

"The speed study listed the highest speed at 67 miles per hour one day," Henry answered. 

Nine months after Phillipe was hit and killed, Carbondale leaders are working to try and stop it from happening again. 

"I see this as a good first step, but let's not call it done," Loos said. 

Days after the accident, News 3 told you about Lee Hughes and the petition he started to get drivers to slow down. 

"I just want kids to be protected and everyone else that travels down Wall Street," Hughes said. 

Hughes didn't know Phillipe, but he used to live on North wall Street when his kids were young. 

"I thought back to when they were little and they used to cross the street and I got emotional thinking about it," Hughes said. 

That's what sparked him to start a petition, asking city leaders to install speed humps. 

Hughes said more than 200 people signed the petition. 

"We got a buzz going in the neighborhood, we got people talking about it and so the hope was there," Hughes said. 

That hope was brought up during the council meeting Tuesday night. 

Leaders say the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) doesn't recommend speed humps or bumps. 

"Even though we are not getting exactly what we put on the petition, it started something special," Hughes said. 

After a two week study was completed, the city is discussing installing new cross walk signs, bike trails and new striping with hopes to prevent a scene like Phillipe's from happening again.

"This is just the start of things to come that will help slow down the traffic and slow down the violence on the east side of Carbondale," Hughes said. 

Henry said the traffic calming plan will cost about $45,000 to complete. 

The city did not vote on this issue Tuesday night, but they hope to in the coming weeks so these new safety measures can be installed before the start of school in August. 

The driver who hit Phillipe faces a reckless homicide charge. 

Prosecutors believe Gary Starks was speeding on North Wall Street when he accidentally struck the five-year old boy, killing him. 

Starks' trial is scheduled for May 13th.

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