MIAMI (CBS4) – Jonathan Morrow’s mother Thelma is lying in intensive care after she was hit by a car while crossing the street near Northwest 7th Avenue and 59th Street last week.
“I took her through so much, I have that guilt on my heart right now if I do lose my mother,” Morrow told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
Morrow isn’t upset with the driver who hit her. In fact that driver now visits her in the hospital.
“He said he didn’t see my mama until he was right up on her,” said Morrow.
The driver said he didn’t see her in part because the street lights on Northwest Seventh Avenue were out. It was so dark that night that emergency crews had to bring in outside lighting to do their jobs.
Copper thieves destroyed a three mile stretch of streetlights on Seventh Avenue weeks ago.
“It’s dark, like the hurricane hit and all the lights are out, it’s dark down there,” said Morrow.
But just one day after his mother’s accident, County crews got to work fixing the lights in her neighborhood.
“The next day we went out there it was lit up like a Christmas tree out there,” said Morrow.
“It’s a good thing they’re cracking into it now, ’cause it could probably save more lives or something like that, but to me I think it’s too late. My mama, she already in the hospital now.”
Public Works says it has now fixed all the County-owned street lights that were out after the copper thefts.
County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson is hoping to prevent the thefts from happening again, by creating a copper task force. Tuesday, a committee voted to move the task force forward to the full commission for a vote.
The task force will focus on including the scrap yard industry, to prevent businesses from buying stolen copper.
“If we can come up with some type of idea that would help prevent or make it more difficult to steal this wiring, as well as penalties,” said Commissioner Edmonson.
The tenants in the Edison Towers apartments on Seventh Avenue hope the task force has teeth. They say the streetlight issue has long plagued their area and they say state-owned lights are still out all over the neighborhood.
“It upsets me ’cause I hate to see anybody get hurt or killed, and it could’ve been avoided, it could’ve been avoided. It didn’t have to happen,” said resident James Stubbs.
Even though the lights in front of their building are back on, the Edison Towers tenants are so concerned about this issue and the other non-functioning lights in the area that they are holding a community meeting Wednesday night to demand answers from State and County leaders.