Caught on radar: 9OYS snags drivers speeding down road where teen killed
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Pima County Sheriff's Department still piecing together what happened the night Ruby Martinez died. They haven't said whether speed played a role in the hit and run accident, but neighbors say that stretch of Nebraska street, near San Joaquin is known for speedy drivers.
"I've seen people race up and down the street before," said Dino Harman.
Harman lives on Nebraska St. right across from where Ruby Martinez was killed by a hit and run driver. His next door neighbor, Stephanie Calderon, tells 9OYS the street is dangerous.
"Easily 45, 50, it's like a freeway here almost, people are just impatient," said Calderon.
The speed limit along Nebraska St. is 35 miles per hour. No speed bumps or stop signs anywhere down the entire stretch of road. But are people following the law? We brought out the radar gun to find out. And for the most part people stayed under, admittedly hitting the brakes just as they saw me point the radar right at them.
But then there were the speeders. Anywhere from 37 to a couple 44's. The fastest we saw: 47 miles per hour. It's just 13 miles over, but on a road like this, neighbors say it can be deadly.
"There's no sidewalks, there's only so much room for kids to get out of the way," said Harman.
At night, it can be even more dangerous. The road is pitch black. The only light shines from the cars zipping by. When the lights went out, our radar gun captured 40 miles per hour. Once they drive on, the only thing left is the glow near Ruby's roadside memorial.
"It's sad, it's very sad," said Calderon.
That roadside memorial which continues to see visitors night after night is all the proof, the only reminder neighbors need to see to know just a few miles per hour down a dark road can mean all the difference between life or death.
"I don't trust this street," Harman said. "My kids won't be walking down this street, not even to talk to the park. It's just too busy."
Neighbors tell 9OYS they hope this tragedy changes behavior. If it doesn't, they say it might be time to look at other options to get people to slow down with either speed bumps or more stop signs. They say they don't want to see another child left to die on their street.
Note: The Martinez family continues to work to raise money for Ruby's funeral costs. Several friends have started donation jars at local businesses. Sadly, the family tells us a woman in tears, pretending to be Ruby's mother, walked into a Circle K to snatch the money.. The family is asking anyone who would like to help to only donate through the Wells Fargo fund.