Neighbors call for speed bumps after child hit and killed - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Neighbors call for speed bumps, stop signs after child hit, killed

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Officer in the 5500 block of Grandel Boulevard where Benjamin Clem was hit. Officer in the 5500 block of Grandel Boulevard where Benjamin Clem was hit.
Edward Pearce (Source: LMDC) Edward Pearce (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Witnesses said a 24-year-old was speeding and driving erratically before he drove over a curb, hitting and killing a 5-year-old boy.

Police said Benjamin Clem was riding a scooter on the sidewalk with his father and brother in a Pleasure Ridge Park neighborhood on Thursday evening when Edward Pearce struck Clem along Grandel Boulevard.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Suspect arraigned in DUI murder of child]

Neighbors said there have been several close calls along Grandel because drivers use the street as a shortcut between Lower Hunters Trace and Terry Road.

"I've had my mailbox taken out twice recently," neighbor Gary Whitenack said.

Whitenack's mailbox is a few feet from a makeshift memorial marking the scene where Pearce hit Clem.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Child dies after being struck by hit-and-run driver, suspect identified]

Police said there were several factors leading to the deadly accident, including speed.

Whitenack said every day, no matter what time it is, drivers cut through Grandel to access Lower Hunters Trace and Terry Road.

"Not only is there heavy traffic, the speed at which the traffic goes through here is excessive as well.  You're definitely at risk, it's obvious," Whitenack said, referring to a teddy bear placed on the sidewalk where Clem was killed.

Heavy traffic coupled with two sharp curves where children play outside makes Grandel especially dangerous, according to Whitenack.

"I have three small grandchildren. Maybe speed bumps would slow down people. Or a stop sign. I'm not sure, but something needs to be done," Whitenack said.

Neighbors are now pressing Metro government for additional traffic safety measures.

According to police records Edward Pearce has a long history of trouble with the law.

In July 2013 he was convicted of driving under the influence, in addition to several arrests for driving with a suspended license.

Pearce's most recent run in with the law was in September of 2013 when he was arrested for stealing pants at a Louisville Walmart.

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