Memorial bench dedicated to honor 3-year-old girl struck and killed near Cincinnati Zoo

Bench renews calls for pedestrian safety

CINCINNATI -- A tribute to a young life lost is now sparking more calls for pedestrian safety in the Queen City.

Khloe Pitts, 3, was crossing Vine Street leaving the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo when a passing car struck her and her mother on Nov. 26, 2016. The injuries later claimed her life.

Family and friends gathered Sunday to dedicate a bench in little Khloe's honor near the zoo's entrance.

"She was everything," said Joy White, Khloe's mother. "Khloe was amazing. She was just a ball of energy."

Now Donteiz Dickey will spend more than a decade in jail for that hit-and-run crash.

City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld helped secure half a million dollars for pedestrian safety improvements across Cincinnati.

"Nothing will bring back this wonderful little girl, but we do need to make sure no one else needs to feel fearful walking down the sidewalk or crossing the street," Sittenfeld said.

However, the hits keep coming, like one earlier this month on Warsaw Avenue that killed East Price Hill businessman Federico Ventura.

Incidents like this one have spurred local communities to demand action that would make their streets safer.

Mount Washington residents sent a letter to city council after the city decided one intersection wasn't busy enough for a crosswalk. 

"Please invest proactively in our neighborhood," they wrote.

The Pleasant Ridge Community Council had stronger words, writing on Nov. 13, "We don't want an adversarial relationship with our city, but, in this case, you are leaving us no choice."

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