MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The memorial for six-year-old Betasha Bien-Aime has continued to grow with balloons and stuffed animals, all the things a little girl loves.
Betasha was hit by a car as she crossed the street with her grandmother, 80- year old Emilia Frenell Wednesday morning. They were not in a crosswalk. The little girl died at the hospital, her grandmother is recovering.
Family and neighbors are hoping to see some action in this neighborhood to make sure no other child loses their life simply walking to school.
“Right now it’s a little bit of a different feeling. You hold them a little closer,” Elizabeth Lingerfelt told CBS4’s Natalia Zea. Lingerfelt walks her son Elijah to kindergarten every day. Thursday they had to walk past the place where Elijah’s schoolmate, first grader Betasha, lost her life.
Marie Bien-Aime described her daughter Betasha to Zea. “My daughter was a very outspoken young girl she was very nice, very friendly, she enjoyed being around people and she was very smart, she was really, really, smart and enjoyed and loved people. It is sad not to have her today.”
Betasha’s mother Marie finds comfort in action. She’s speaking out about the heavy traffic, and risky driving in this neighborhood as parents take their kids to Madie Ives Elementary and high school students rush to Krop Senior High, all while young children head to school on foot.
“Those children drive like they are in the zoo, they don’t drive like they are in a school zone. Two years ago I almost got killed over there with my kids and my family. This has to stop,” said Bien-Aime.
It seems to be a well-known problem among neighbors and parents of children at the elementary school.
“They need to do better over there, the kids because they’re driving so fast all the time and these are little kids that go in the school,” said Marcia Wood who is a parent.
The 16-year old driver who attends Krop is not facing any charges at this point. That has outraged Betasha’s mother, and also fellow high school student Alexandria Isaacs who saw the accident. “A little girl died in all of this. I feel as if she should be in jail and that’s it.”
Elizabeth Lingerfelt doesn’t know about that, but she does know after this loss of a young life, she’s not going to let her son out of her sight, and she’s teaching him about traffic safety.
“I explained it to him. He’s old enough and smart enough to know we just have stay out of the street. We watch for the cars so the cars don’t watch for us,” explained Lingerfelt.
CBS4 reached out to the County Commissioner for that area to see if there are any plans to put in speed humps like many here want. No one has returned Zea’s calls.
Betasha’s grandmother, meanwhile, is still recovering in the hospital and is scheduled for surgery Thursday on her broken shoulder.