'This driving needs to stop:' Victims, community leaders, plead to curb reckless driving

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee mother of two is one of the latest victims of reckless driving. The car she depends on to get her kids to and from school was totaled after a reckless driver barrelled into her.

Rose Walton (left) and Melissa Washington (right)

That mother was driving with a friend near 89th and Burleigh. She says another driver sped through a stop sign and slammed into her out of nowhere.

"It was a huge impact," said Melissa Washington, the woman whose car was totaled. "We are very lucky to be alive."

Washington and Rose Walton are on the road to recovery, bruised but not broken after they say a reckless driver hit the car they were in Wednesday afternoon. The crash deployed airbags and cracked the car's front windshield.

"It's just getting reckless. This driving needs to stop," Washington said. "These kids need to stop and think."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

Her message, echoed by Milwaukee leaders.

"This is a serious issue that we need to be dealing with right now," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Mayor Barrett and Police Chief Alfonso Morales both held news conferences on the issue Thursday, Nov. 21 focused on curbing the recklessness with partnership and new initiatives.

"We are all involved in this recklessness and it has to stop," said Chief Morales.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales

Washington's car is totaled, changing an important daily routine.

"Now I don't have a car to get my son, who is autistic, to his programs," Washington said. "Take your time. Follow the rules."

Walton and Washington say the driver of the vehicle attempted to run off, but neighbors stopped him until police arrived. They're grateful for those neighbors and paramedics who were quick to the scene. They also hope the recklessness stops so no one else has to go through the pain they're in.

In the past two weeks, the Milwaukee Police Department has conducted 539 traffic stops -- 136 for speeding in excess for 20 miles over.

Chief Alfonso Morales says there have been 44 fatal accidents this year -- eight of those were hit-and-run crashes. In the last 30 days, we had two hit-and-run crashes involving serious injuries to children -- and a hit-and-run where two children lost their lives. In the past week, a 13-year-old child was shot due to a road rage incident.