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ISU students speak out months after roommate died while crossing street

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:04 PM CDT
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NORMAL (WEEK) - Grad students at Illinois State University have an emotional plea to make a crosswalk safer on campus after their roommate was killed walking to class. They say the town and university have not done enough to make it safer, so they started a petition.

ISU grad students Candace Martell and Hope Rasmussen said they were walking to class in late November when the unthinkable happened.

“The car just hit her and she flew in the air and then we like ran to her and I started holding her,” said Rasmussen.

Their roommate, 23-year-old Danielle Fairchild, was hit by a car and killed on College Avenue in Normal. The three were on their way to class that evening.

“She always had just so much creativity and she just wanted to help people so much,” said Rasmussen.

Now, these grad students are trying to make the crosswalk on campus safer for all students.

“We have to walk back and forth and like run for our lives basically,” said Rasmussen.

They started a petition two weeks ago to add a pedestrian crossing sign that would flash when someone wants to cross.

Although, they say a light was replaced on the street for it to brighten up the crosswalk area.

“That’s wonderful, but like we need something more than that,” said Martell.

The Town of Normal says its working with ISU to craft a possible study to be done on campus pedestrian safety. It would be jointly funded by the town and university.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen and Martell are hoping to see change before they graduate in Decemeber.

“I think she is probably cheering us on,” said Rasmussen.

And want it all to be in Danielle’s memory.

“Danielle very much wanted to create a legacy and I feel like she is,” said Martell.

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