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Longmont community calling for more traffic measures after beloved neighbor struck, killed by car

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Aug 31, 2022

LONGMONT, Colo. — His decades-long morning walks to get coffee was cherished by residents in Longmont's Old Town neighborhood.

But on Tuesday morning, 84-year-old Tony Umilie never made it to the Java Stop for his daily brew.

Longmont police say he was struck and killed by a driver at the 3rd Avenue and Pratte Street intersection while he was walking in an unmarked designated crosswalk. Drugs or alcohol are not suspected in this case and charges, if any, have not been filed yet.

"He was a beloved artist and photographer in the community," resident Frances Tinsley said. "Everyone knew Tony."

84-year-old hit, killed while legally crossing street at problem intersection in Longmont

Several residents like Sam Mullis described Umilie as a gentle and generous man, who was sociable and always encouraged recycling various items to help the environment.

"Tony has been my next-door neighbor for 14 years. A great father, a great husband [who] adopted both of his children," Mullis said. "I can't even imagine speaking with his family with his son. They are devastated."

While residents are shocked at what happened, they say they aren't surprised, calling that intersection a problem that has just gotten worse over the years.

Resident Sarah Welle said the traffic is constant. Cars speed and there's a lack of marked crosswalks in the community.

Welle and other residents showed Denver7 several emails they've sent to city officials.

"Oftentimes, they don't even respond," Welle said.

Resident Jocelyn Gilligan says it's a slap in the face as she recalled the moments her family was nearly hit by a speeding vehicle.

"We were trying to get through this intersection and a car came flying through this side and turned left and was so close to hitting me and my children. I thought for sure we were going to die," Gilligan said.

In a statement to Denver7, the city said it conducted a study of the area in 2017, "but the conditions did not meet the criteria to implement additional "pedestrian treatment" in that area."

The city said the study, in part, analyzed the number of adult and children pedestrians that crossed the street in that area within two hours.

Following continuous community outcry, officials confirmed Wednesday that the city has been taking action.

Neighbors describe the process as a fight that is now more urgent than years past.

"I think we owe it to Tony and to his family to make sure that doesn't happen again," Mullis said.

On Wednesday evening, a small assortment of flowers rested on a tree near the intersection Umilie was struck. It was a path he knew well, one his neighbors will miss seeing him on.

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