CLEVELAND (WJW)– Traumatized neighbors are taking action after a little girl is killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver.

On Tuesday, a large metal, yellow sign with the words “Slow down kids play here” was installed on West 50th Street just steps away from where 5-year-old Apolina Asumani was struck Saturday.

A 17-year-old female driver fled, but was later taken into custody by Cleveland police.

Neighbors who knew the little girl and witnessed the accident made the sign. 

“My daughter’s father put it up,” said Jennifer Ellis, “He did all of that in the garage by himself, he painted it.. It took him all day to do it.”

Sign says slow down kids play here
(FOX 8 photo)

Neighbor Leroy White started a GoFundMe account for the family.

“You know, they don’t have much so they definitely need help and support from the community. We’re not trying to do nothing more than bury this baby,” he said.

Leroy also contacted the Cleveland City Council.

“I told the councilman that the only thing that’s gonna stop this is speed bumps, that’s it. So they have no choice but to slow down then,” White said.

Speeding drivers has been a problem on the street for years.

The @RefugeeResponse Tweeted “There have been multiple pedestrian accidents since 2019 near W. 50th St, where a 5-yr-old Congolese refugee was killed last weekend. This was the 4th involving a child <1/2 mile from CMSD Newcomers Academy. These kids urgently need streets safe for pedestrians.”

Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack said he’s been trying to get speed bumps across the city for several years and that plans are now underway.

“The new administration is very much interested in these which we’re thankful for,” McCormack said. “My timeline is yesterday, quite frankly my residents want these immediately.”

On Sunday. a second child, a 9-year-old boy was killed on Bohn Road by another hit-and-run driver.

“It’s gotta stop,” McCormack said.

The plans presented at city council include temporary rubber speed bumps and then a more permanent system.

The cost is $5,000 each and streets would be prioritized based on accident numbers and feedback from residents. 

“So there’s a speed table, paint markings on the ground, and signage up as well,” McCormack said. “Like Akron, Detroit, Lakewood, you name it. We have to adopt a speed hump policy immediately and implement them right away.”

Neighbors said they hope something is done soon.

Even after all of their hard work on the warning sign, some drivers still sped right past it.

“If we don’t get speed bumps, I can almost guarantee it’s going to happen again,” White said.