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'Khloe's Krossing' and 'Mark Klusman Way' will memorialize pedestrians struck and killed

'Khloe's Krossing' to memorialize 'amazing' girl
Posted at 6:09 AM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 19:02:46-05

CINCINNATI -- Khloe Pitts was only 3 years old when she and her mother, then-27-year-old Joy White, were struck by a car while in a crosswalk on Vine Street. They had just left the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights.

The collision -- which police characterized as a hit-and-run -- cut young Khloe's life short. She would shortly  die from her injuries.

Now, near the zoo's entrance sits a bench, memorializing the 3-year-old's life. And pretty soon, there will be another fixture headed to the site of the crash, designating the crosswalk where Khloe took her last steps as "Khloe's Krossing."

Khloe's death is one of two pedestrian fatalities receiving honorary namings: Mark Klusman, beloved Elder High School teacher killed in the street as a pedestrian, will be honored as well.

"She was everything," White said at her daughter's bench's commemoration ceremony last year. "Khloe was amazing. She was such a ball of energy."

In an ordinance submitted to his fellow city council members, P.G. Sittenfeld called for the honorary naming of the southern crosswalk at the intersection of Vine Street and Erkenbrecker Avenue -- "as a reminder of the necessity for both drivers and pedestrians to know and observe road and traffic regulations," the ordinance reads.

The council's Neighborhoods Committee will consider the ordinance Tuesday morning at a special hearing scheduled for 9:45.

At the same meeting, the committee will consider a similar ordinance -- submitted by Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman -- that will give an honorary second name to Vincent Avenue in East Price Hill, in remembrance of beloved Elder High School teacher Mark Klusman. The honorary signs will read, "Mark Klusman Way."

Klusman was struck while volunteering during a Saturday street clean-up, pulling equipment from a truck parked on the street. Klusman died in the hospital, two weeks after the collision.

Klusman graduated from Elder in 1961, and then returned to teach there five years later. He taught and mentored students at Elder until his death more than 50 years later.

Like Khloe, police classified the collision that ultimately killed Klusman as a hit-and-run.

Police apprehended and charged both suspects -- Donteiz Romond Dickey, 22, in Khloe's case; and 23-year-old Kayla Wilson, in Klusman's case. Both were convicted: Dickey will face more than 10 years in prison for vehicular homicide and fleeing the scene of a crash. Wilson could face as many as 17 years in prison on aggravated vehicular homicide, driving impaired, speeding, and fleeing the scene of a crash charges.

Pat LaFleur reports on transportation and mobility for WCPO. Connect with him on Twitter (@pat_laFleur) and on Facebook.