Madison neighborhood celebrates safety efforts after 9-year-old hit by car

By: Madeline Anderson Email
By: Madeline Anderson Email

Published: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 --- 6:45 p.m.

This past summer, Bailee Chadwick was celebrating Fathers' Day with family at her aunt's house on Vera Ct. in Madison. She crossed the street to get ice cream from an ice cream truck, and as she was coming back, an SUV hit her, running her over. Miraculously Bailee survived. Now parents who live on the street are making sure it doesn't happen to another kid.

Vera Ct. is just a block long, but with 130-plus apartment units, almost every one with school-age children, there's never a quiet moment outside.

"There are a lot of kids, and that's what makes the neighborhood really active, really alive," said Officer David Dexheimer.

After a fatal shooting this weekend two years ago, Dexheimer was put in charge of making the area a safer place. So when Bailee was run over, he helped get drivers to slow down.

"I'm really proud of my neighbors here," Dexheimer said. "We had a debriefing about the incident, and a lot of people said we need to do something to prevent this from happening again. So there was a core group of mothers who stepped forward and said let's do what we need to do."

"I thought this was very important for the children, as many as we have in this community, to have speed bumps put into place," said Vera Ct. parent Katie Herbrand.

Herbrand and other parents gathered signatures for a petition to put those speed bumps in.

At a parade Saturday celebrating their efforts, families decorated the speed bumps with chalk.

"That could happen to another kid if there wasn't speed bumps," Bailee said, who is nearly recovered from her extensive injuries, Including broken ribs and a broken leg."

"Just seeing her learning how to use her legs again, get the strength back and her crying because she was in the pain, I think that was my hardest, to sit there and not be able to do anything about it ," said Bailee's mom, Heather Marin.

Bailee and her mom are grateful for the community's efforts, and the second chance they say God has given her.

"I guess I'm just thankful that she's here today with me," Marin said.

"My leg's back up, got the strength back," Bailee said. "It's like a new beginning of life."

Miracle Loyd was arrested for running over Bailee. She has since been released and has not been charged in this incident.

If you'd like to help Bailee's family pay for her ongoing medical treatment, you can go to any Associated Bank and make a donation to the Bailee Love Fund.

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