Chesterfield mom asks for road improvements on anniversary - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Chesterfield mom asks for road improvements on anniversary of son's death

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

One year to the day when she lost her son, a Chesterfield mother is demanding improvements be made to the road where he was killed. Alice Coleman wants to see better lighting in the area and the speed limit reduced, too.

On December 4, 2012, Coleman's 20-year-old son Christopher was hit by two vehicles as he attempted to cross Hopkins Road. One of the drivers responsible is still at large.

"The first vehicle that struck Christopher stopped," said the victim's mom, Alice Coleman. "But the second vehicle that ran over him and left him dying and bloody in the street has yet to be identified."

Coleman says police don't have a good description of that second vehicle, in part, because the lighting is so poor.

Coleman has petitioned for more lighting at the intersection. County officials confirm they have received the petition and are currently discussing with Dominion Power how much the improvements would cost.

Coleman says she also wants to see the speed limit reduced.

Currently, the posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour. VDOT says it did a traffic study back in January, and there wasn't enough evidence to show the speed limit needed to be reduced.

According to VDOT, Coleman's crash report doesn't indicate that speeding contributed to his death.

"Our study found there was not sufficient justification to reduce the speed limit in this section based on a careful review of several factors," a VDOT spokeswoman said in an email. "The vehicle operating speeds were found to be 48 mph (slightly higher than, but consistent with, the existing limit) and the roadway geometry is consistent with those types of speeds. 

"The overall crash and injury rates for this section of road were also lower than the average for secondary roads in the Richmond area."  

Still, Coleman wants to see change.

"I lost my son, my only son, my first born," said Alice Coleman. "I just hope no one else loses their child before something as simple as lighting, speed limit reduction, sidewalks on both sides of the street will be done."

While VDOT stands firm on the speed limit, officials say they are open to making improvements to the lighting and even, adding sidewalks.

A reward is currently being offered for any information that can help police identify the second person who hit Chris Coleman. If you can help, you're urged to call Crime Solvers at 748-0660.

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