Portsmouth residents petition for traffic light after hit-and-run driver kills postal worker

Posted at 7:04 AM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 14:35:30-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va.— Faith Lutheran Church in Suffolk is mourning the loss their beloved member, Maggie White — a wife, a mother and dear friend to Kate Hoffstaetter.

“Maggie was — she was a force,” said Hoffstaetter. “She was the life of the party. She was a prankster. She had a great sense of humor. She loved hard and deep and truly.”

White was a youth director at the church for three years and had a gift for connecting with people.

“She loved working for the post office. She never met a stranger. Every place she went, she would talk to people.”

White was delivering mail on her route last Tuesday when she was hit by a vehicle on Airline Boulevard near Caroline Avenue.

The 44-year-old later died at the hospital, and neighbors say the city needs to do something before more people are hurt and killed.

Portsmouth residents are calling for change at the intersection they describe as "dangerous."

Police say there have been 23 crashes in the area since 2016. Neighbors says it’s time for something to be done about the intersection.

“They need to put traffic lights or speed bumps or something because this is constant— it’s constantly speeding; it’s just horrible. What else can I say? It’s horrible,” said Maureen O’Donnell.

O’Donnell says a few months ago there was a three-car crash in her neighbor’s yard.

“I guess somebody came through the stop sign and hit another car. That car hit another car, and the car wound up on that person‘s lawn,” O’Donnell explained while pointing to her neighbor’s yard.

After the hit-and-run last week, a tearful neighbor told News 3 residents have been trying to get a stoplight long before the crash and nothing has been done.

“We need a light here. We really need a light here,” said Judi Gould. "If they don’t get a streetlight here, it’s gonna keep getting bad.”

O’Donnell told News 3 drivers “have no respect for the stop signs” at the intersections of Airline Boulevard.

Just as O’Donnell was taking about cars not stopping, a white van rolled right through the intersection.

News 3 caught multiple cars taking the stop sign as a suggestion in during the short, six-minute interview.

A petition for a stoplight and crosswalks has close to 200 signatures online.

Now, neighbors are wondering how many more people need to get hurt or killed before something is done.

“Something’s wrong. They need to fix it. they need to fix it,” said O’Donnell.

Police are looking for the driver of a black Dodge Journey that flagged down an officer about the crash.

The United States Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward of up to $50,000 to anyone with information that could lead to an arrest.