Residents address city commission on Crawford Road safety

Kaiti Chritz | Photo Editor Cars drive along Crawford road at around 7 p.m. on Jan. 7. In November of 2015 Ryan Tsatsos, a CMU freshman, was killed in a hit and run accident just after midnight while walking back to campus along Crawford road.

Alana D’Ambrosio-Berry awoke to horrific screams coming from outside her house just after midnight Nov. 1.

At first, she thought it was the sounds a woman being raped. In reality, it was the sound of a 17-year-old student being killed in a hit-and-run.

Macomb freshman Ryan Tsatsos was north on the poorly light and sidewalk-less Crawford Road with a group of friends after a Halloween party when he was hit by an unknown driver who never stopped. 

Almost three months after the death the Macomb freshman, the street remains dark.

“There is one light on the end of our street on Crawford. Police were on the scene in two minutes, unable to see,” D'Ambrosio-Berry said at the Jan. 25 Mount Pleasant City Commission meeting.

She said she was “naive enough” to email Central Michigan University President George Ross about the lighting issue before becoming aware that “no one wants to pay for it.”

D'Ambrosio-Berry has been expressing her concerns to the Union Township Board of Trustees since the hit and run. Trustees have expressed they will need assistance from the city of Mount Pleasant and Central Michigan University to make Crawford Road a safer place to walk. 

Berry said she asked the road commission for a traffic study after noticing that it had increased “exponentially” in the 11 years she's lived there.

“I’m just really trying to appeal and pursue any avenues so we can do something positive out of this horrible tragedy,” D'Ambrosio-Berry said. “There are many students that reside now in the township and the city. We need to look at this.”

The city commission is already working with Central Michigan University to add lighting along streets north of campus.

The total project is estimated to cost about $309,000 in total. CMU has agreed to fund $60,000 of the project.

“This is a combination of an assessment from property owners, a contribution from the city and a contribution from Central Michigan University in recognizing the value additional lighting will have for that area,” Mayor Kathy Ling said. “This will help to facilitate better conditions in that area.”