SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Kristi Jones woke up early Friday morning, looked out at her street and saw a crime scene – and the outline of a body.
“I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything sooner, to be honest,” said Jones, who said she has lived at Compton Road and Marley Street for three years.
It was a disturbing sight. Police say a hit-skip driver struck and killed 68-year-old Gilbert Roper as Roper tried to cross the street in the pre-dawn hours.
Jones and neighbors described it as if it were an accident waiting to happen.
“I woke up and saw the lights. Also saw it marked off. I definitely knew that it wasn’t just an accident or something,” said Jones. “I glanced over there and saw a covering or sheet … I saw a shopping cart and random items around it that made it seem like somebody was walking there.
“That intersection right there, I definitely feel like people are unsafe going around the lights. It’s not a great area," she added.
To make matters worse, there are no crosswalks, no sidewalks, and there’s a school nearby. Schoolkids and others walking that stretch of road have actually forged a trail right through her yard, Jones said.
“The school over there, they walk along the grass there. Sometimes they’re way too close to the road,” she said.
Jones said even she's afraid to walk in that area.
“Sometimes it’s a little scary. I keep my dog away from the road. People go very fast,” Jones said.
She hopes somebody will do something about it now.
“I would like a sidewalk. It would feel nice to feel safer,” she said. “Even on one side. There’s none anywhere. One side would be safer for kids to walk down.”
Roper was struck as he crossed the street near 14 Compton Road at approximately 4:15 a.m., according to a release from Springfield Township police.
Police said they are still looking for the hit-skip driver. They said the vehicle was described as a Mitsubishi Endeavor, an SUV made between 2004 and 2011. It should have front end damage and be missing the chrome Mitsubishi emblem.
Anyone who witnessed the accident or has information is asked to contact Springfield Township police at (513) 729-1300.