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On Friday, October 9, an unidentified motorist ran over and killed Donald Ray Benningfield, 68, before fleeing the scene. The driver has remained at large ever since, but investigators at the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) believe they are making headway in tracking down the killer.

(Courtesy Google)
(Courtesy Google)

The hit-and-run collision took place just before 9:00p.m. on the 5300 block of Bardstown Road near Hurstbourne Parkway in the Fern Creek neighborhood. Benningfield was reportedly crossing Bardstown when he was hit.

Distance to crosswalks from the Emrich Avenue bus stop. (Courtesy Google; Montage by Broken Sidewalk)
Distance to crosswalks from the Emrich Avenue bus stop. (Courtesy Google; Montage by Broken Sidewalk)

On Monday, WDRB reported that “LMPD traffic investigators have narrowed down the search for a car authorities say was involved” in the case. Police suspects the motorist was driving a 2008 or 2010 BMW 100 series, but have fewer leads on color. WLKY reported that a silver grill and silver paint chips were found at the scene, so the car may or may not be silver. The vehicle may have damage from the collision.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Deanna Mivelaz, Benningfield’s sister, told WLKY. “It was devastating. To think somebody could hit a human being and just drive away and not come back and see if he was OK.”

(Courtesy Google)
(Courtesy Google)

Anyone with information about the case should contact police at 502-574-LMPD.

Bardstown Road here is a deadly by design. Any pedestrian braving the streets of Fern Creek are at great risk any time they want to cross the street. And this infrastructure is not cheap.

According to WLKY, Benningfield had taken the bus to meet friends playing cards. There are several TARC bus stops in the 5300 block. One of them is at the entrance to a subdivision at Emrich Avenue. Across the street is a major strip mall called Piccadilly Square (with no sidewalk access). It’s not so much a “square” as a parking lot.

(Courtesy Google)
(Courtesy Google)

There are no crosswalks at the intersection with Emrich. You’d need to walk 500 feet to the Hurstbourne Lane crosswalk or 1,700 feet to the next closest. If you did attempt to cross the street, you’d be stared down by motorists driving on a 45mph road that’s engineered to handle much higher speeds.

The collision took place near a TARC stop between Hurstbourne Lane and Emrich Avenue. (Courtesy Google)
The collision took place near a TARC stop between Hurstbourne Lane and Emrich Avenue. (Courtesy Google)

At Emrich Avenue, there are six enormous traffic lanes and no pedestrian refuges in sight. At Hurstbourne, pedestrians are forced to cross seven oversized traffic lanes. Turning radii are so great here that a driver could feasibly take a turn going over 45 mph. Sidewalks exist for the most part here but are poorly designed (to the point of being dangerous themselves).

Local coverage: WLKY, WDRB, C-J, WHAS11.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. My irritation is Lexington Road in St Matthews with zero crosswalks forever……and all of shelbyville road!

  2. Thanks, Branden. I know the family, including Deanna, and I had met Donnie.

    Pedestrians may just be strangers, even obstacles, to the drivers who think they’re in the way. How often do drivers take the time to imagine the full life of that person crossing in front of them or standing on the side of the road – someone with friends, family, and a larger network of relationships?

    This driver has apparently only thought of the consequences for himself/herself, but hasn’t empathized with those who knew and cared for Donnie.

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