Child hit by car prompts safety improvements in SW Atlanta

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ATLANTA, Ga. —

Channel 2 Action News has learned the name of the 12-year-old hit and critically injured over the weekend in southwest Atlanta.

Authorities have identified the boy as Anthony Rhoden. He was playing with friends on Venetian Drive near Centra Villa when a car hit him. Now an Atlanta City councilwoman is introducing new legislation to make safety improvements to the area.

“I see the kids and they are in the street, and we have babies coming from down there walking and it’s very dangerous,” Linda Williamson told Channel 2’s Erin Coleman Tuesday afternoon.

Williamson, like many people who live in this area, say their streets need some attention. No sidewalks and dim lighting make it a danger to pedestrians, they said.

Remnants of yellow police tape are still up from Saturday night. That's when a car hit and injured the child, who police said was playing with friends. At last check, he was still in critical condition in a hospital. The driver will not be charged, police said. They said the woman told them she didn't see him.

"I can understand she didn't see him," said Williamson, who spoke of drivers going too fast in the neighborhood.

Winslow went out to the intersection Tuesday morning. She's now introducing legislation to start the process of making improvements.

“We're going to look at all of the safety measures to see what's going on. I did talk to the public works department. They're looking at some things. They're going to be going out as well,” Winslow told Coleman.

Winslow said the safety effort may require extra wattage for the street lights, a project she said she's addressing immediately.

Williamson, meanwhile, hopes the safety efforts are executed very soon "before somebody really gets killed, even in the daytime," she said.

Winslow said the department of public works will go out to the area this week to start looking at the best possible improvements.