Family of killed boy works to make Wisconsin Rapids streets safe - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Family of killed boy works to make Wisconsin Rapids streets safer


Months after an 8-year-old boy was hit by a truck and killed trying to cross the street, his family works to make the streets of Wisconsin Rapids safer.

Maxwell Wipfli  was killed last November. He was crossing the street with his 12-year-old brother, when a truck ran him over. The driver told police he couldn't see the boys.

"He loved to learn how things worked," says Sheri Wipfli. "He loved to invent his own contraptions and just had this insatiable curiosity for life."

Sheri Wipfli smiles when she remembers her 8-year-old son Maxwell.

"There are just not words strong enough to describe what it feels like to lose a child," said Wipfli.

Now she is using her pain to help improve pedestrian safety in Wisconsin Rapids.

It's something the city's newly elected mayor agrees with.

 "As a community we want to make sure we are a safe community to cross and to use our sidewalks," said Zach Vruwink.

The city held a meeting with parents, police, and other leaders.
They shared ideas and suggestions on how to make west grand avenue safer to cross.

"I know for the residents of the area if it takes until next week that's too long," said Jim Borski, Wisconsin Rapids Public Works. "It's going to take some time. Especially if we have to make changes to the road itself."

One city leader says drivers simply need to pay more attention.

"I think the hardest part is going to be changing the mindset of the drivers in our part of the county because right now pedestrians aren't number one, they are number two," said Borski.

The ideas from today's meeting will be evaluated, and the potential costs will be looked at.
The city will meet again to discuss this issue June 4th.

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