12-year-old's death sparks renewed plea for safeguards

Posted at 6:18 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 11:18:55-04

(WXYZ) — Earlier this month, a 12-year-old boy from Dearborn Heights was struck and killed by a vehicle while riding his bike home from a football game.

RELATED: Dearborn Heights Police investigating after 12-year-old hit, killed by driver

Joey Smith was hit on the corner of Pardee Avenue and Annapolis Street on Oct. 15. His grandfather Phillip Smith recalls talking to him.

"That was the last time I saw him other than him lying on the street," he said.

His family and neighbors who live near the crash site say the area is dangerous because it's too dark and there are no speed bumps. It's directly across from Pardee Elementary School, where kids frequently play and ride their bikes.

"It's always been a problem with cars speeding down this road and there's a bunch of children around here," Jessica Zacharski said. She fought for speed bumps and flashing signs in this area a decade ago.

"It’s a race track. It's very dangerous," she said.

Dan Clark lives on the street where Joey was hit. Although police say speed was not a factor in the teen’s death, Clark says stop signs seem to only be suggestions.

“Speed bumps, patrolling, anything would be a salvation for this street for these kids,” he said.

Smith’s death has sparked a renewed plea for safeguards. They're calling the petition Joey’s Law and hope it pressures the city into finally installing those speed bumps and flashing lights Zacharski has been fighting for.

"It will save another child's life. That's exactly what it would do, hopefully," Joeys grandfather said.