COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A state lawmaker is hoping to improve a busy highway after a school crossing guard was killed.
Police say Lamonte Whitaker was driving recklessly when he hit and killed Edna Umeh in November outside Lindley Middle School on Veteran’s Memorial Highway in Mableton.
Transportation officials conducted a safety audit of the area Wednesday.
They walked a 3.5-mile stretch of the highway to analyze factors that contribute to deadly crashes involving cars and pedestrians.
State representative Erica Thomas said she drives by the area every day and knows it’s unsafe.
“These kids need to worry about going to school, not about their grandmother dying or their sister dying or getting ran over,” she said.
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In response to Umeh’s death, Thomas introduced House Bill 672, called “Edna’s Law.”
Thomas said the measure would allow school police officers to use speed detection in school zones in an attempt to get drivers to slow down.
“We won’t see any more stories like Edna Umeh. We can’t afford families to be hurting,” she said.
Channel 2’s Chris Jose spoke to Umeh’s son Wednesday after a judge postponed Whitaker’s scheduled bond hearing. Whitaker’s attorney never showed up in court.
“I’m not going to let Mr. Whitaker forget what he did to me. Every time he opens his eyes, he’s going to see me,” Rahim Tarver said.
Tarver will have to wait until next week to see Whitaker for the first time.
In the meantime, he said he’s working with Thomas to improve safety.
Thomas said she expects to get results from the audit Wednesday evening.
She said she’s asking for a crosswalk and a traffic light in the area.
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