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Family feels 5-year-old boy's death was preventable

Neighbors have asked for speed bump on Saddlewood
Posted at 6:13 PM, Oct 14, 2016

The family of a boy hit and killed while riding his bicycle are speaking out about speeding concerns on their street. 

"He was a good boy," said Austin's mother Jenny Crawford.  "He was always so happy."

According to Polk County Sheriff's deputies, Austin Crawford, 5, and his sister were sitting on their bikes in their neighbors driveway Thursday night.  Deputies say Crawford rode onto Saddlewood Boulevard in north Lakeland when a pickup truck hit him. 

MORE: 5-year-old boy killed while playing near his home

"I ran so fast over to him and he was laying on the ground," said Jenny Crawford.  "He was in the driveway."

Austin's mother now hopes her son's tragedy will spark change on Saddlewood Boulevard. 

Many have complained about vehicles speeding down the street, treating it like a drag strip. 

"They go super fast up and down this road," said Jenny Crawford.

While Polk County investigators do not believe speed was a factor in this incident, neighbors want something done to protect the children who play outside along the street. 

A speed limit sign for 30 m.p.h is clearly posted on Saddlewood, but neighbors say many ignore it and often drive double the posted speed limit. 

"It's always worried me that something would happen," said Michael Decaro, Jenny Crawford's fiance. 

Decaro says he and others have lobbied Polk County to install a speed bump. 

Traffic officials say they will investigate if changes need to be made. 

"They need to put speed bumps in here and slow these people down and pay attention to the children playing in the road," said Jenny Crawford.

The family has set up a memorial fund in Austin's name.  If you'd like to donate, click here:

https://www.crowdrise.com/austin-crawfords-memorial-fund/fundraiser/valeria-cooperjorn#the-story