Family remembers woman killed in Ferguson hit-and-run, call for change
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - “I just wish I could sleep and just wake up and say it was just a dream. A bad dream.”
It’s a bad dream that’s still settling in for Herman Anderson, one week since learning his sister, 61-year-old Willetter Anderson-Watson was struck and killed crossing the street in Ferguson.
“She was my baby sister. I’m baby boy. She’s baby girl out of 10. Three sisters and seven brothers. And of course, me and her was the last two,” said Herman.
Herman says Willetter had a love for life with hobbies like skating and going to the bowling alley. The mother of two and grandmother also picked up a few nicknames throughout her life.
“It was sissy to us, and smiley to the skating rink. And then I think she just took smiley and ran with it,” said Herman.
Herman says Willetter was crossing the intersection of S. Florissant Road and Woodstock Road the morning of March 8 to get to the bus stop to go to work, when she was first hit by a Volkswagen’s mirror who turned onto the intersection. The hit knocked her over.
While that car stayed behind, shortly after, a maroon SUV ran over Willetter and fled the scene.
“I really want justice. I want even the city of Ferguson to take responsibility knowing that they should put something to slow the traffic down,” said Herman.
“We’re also praying that will be a wakeup call for everybody. If there ever was a time that we show respect for humanity for one another. Its now,” said Rev. Dr. Napolean Bryant.
Pastors Kenneth Turner and Bryant at Greater Calvary Baptist Church off Riverview Blvd. will be hosting Herman and Willetter’s loved ones in honoring her life this Saturday at noon. While the goal is to celebrate her life, they also hope to send a message about safety on the roads and implementing traffic calming measures across dangerous intersections like where she died.
They say it’s a similar concern across from their congregation, with cars constantly speeding past stop signs.
“We have a daycare across the street, a school on the corner, we have a church on the corner, and it’s hard to get people to just stop,” Turner. “We have people who don’t even want to part on the lot because they’re afraid to cross the street.”
Missouri State Highway Patrol tells News 4 they have taken over the investigation of the Ferguson hit-and-run and are still working on locating the car and driver that fled the scene after hitting Willetter but do not have any more details at this time on the investigation.
“Slow down, slow down. [Don’t] be in such a hurry because there are lives. They took my sister’s life and she’s not coming back,” said Herman. “What would my sister want. She would want someone else to live.”
There is a GoFundMe to help support Willetter’s family as well as funeral costs.
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