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Following deadly Papillion crosswalk hit, police presence increases, community raises questions

Abby Whitford died after being struck by a vehicle
Posted at 6:14 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 18:28:01-04

PAPILLION, Neb. — Abby Whitford was just 10-years-old when she was struck by a vehicle last week. She was crossing the intersection of Second and Washington in downtown Papillion. She succumbed to her injuries two days later and died in the hospital. Now, the community is focused on the bigger picture.

See also: Papillion Police complete investigation into child's death

Papillion Barbers is located near the intersection of the accident. Employee Tanner Liekhus says he often sees people speeding downtown. He wants everyone to slow down on the road.

"Traffic needs to slow down everywhere, it's not just down here. People kind of just go with the flow of traffic and most often than not that's over the speed limit," he said.

To enforce the rules that have always been there and keep pedestrians safe, the Papillion Police Department has increased their police presence in the area.

"Yeah I mean for the most part it seems like they're hanging out a little more down here. We always see them driving by, but it seems like they're stopping on corners a little more often," Liekhus said.

When it comes to the crosswalk on the intersection of Second and Washington, Liekhus says some people don't know how to go about them.

"At least the locals down here know a little more about it but you know, people that aren't in the Papillion area, they're pretty clueless on what to specifically do," he said.

A blinking yellow light means to proceed with caution, a blinking red light would mean to stop.

"Like say even if that light was red instead of yellow, might be a little more for people to stop as prepared to just have an extra lookout," Liekhus said.

Papillion PD say no matter what kind of crosswalk it is, pedestrians have the right of way. It is Nebraska law to stop if a pedestrian is crossing.

The accident is still under investigation.