Mother who lost son to reckless driving joining in delivering petition for harsher penalties

NOW: Mother who lost son to reckless driving joining in delivering petition for harsher penalties

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Another young man, 18 years old, lost his life to reckless driving here in the city of Milwaukee this Tuesday morning, Sept. 21.

It happened around 2 a.m. near N. Fond Du Lac and W. Locust.

The driver sped away from the scene, and police are still looking for them.

Activists and those personally impacted by reckless driving are asking city officials to do something.

Wednesday afternoon, a petition asking for harsher penalties for dangerous drivers that has more than 1,150 signatures will be hand-delivered to the chief judge of Milwaukee County by a mother who lost her son in what police are calling a reckless driving crash.

"I thought it was a dream, I'm like what are you talking about, you know, so she told me to go to 60th and Capitol. So I go and race and get my daughters and we run to 60th and Capitol," said Julie Wellinger

She said upon arrival, they came across the scene, where her son, 22-year-old Jerrold Wellinger, and his friend were hit by a vehicle that was drag racing.

The driver, 37-year-old James Malone, is facing two counts of first degree reckless homicide.

"It breaks my heart and my family's heart, and the other man's heart. This man that killed our son. He bailed himself out of jail. He is now sitting at home in the comfort of his home."

Police say Malone was racing 31-year-old James Hinton.

His license was revoked at the time of the deadly crash.

Petition organizer and community activist Tracey Dent said all too often, reckless drivers are back on the streets too quickly. 

"You know, 18-year-old lost his life thanks to a reckless driver. Once again, someone lost their life," said Dent.

Dent said while there also needs to be changes to address the social causes of dangerous behavior, something needs to be done now to get people who drive dangerously off the streets.

"What are we going to do, when are we going to say enough is enough, as in speak with one voice? That's what has to happen," said Dent.

Julie said she hopes things get better so others don't have to go through what she's been through.

"My son is no longer here. We can't say hello, we can't say goodbye, I can't say I love you, but he's in the comfort of his home," said Dent.

Dent said he's also giving a copy of the petition to the DA's office and the Common Council.

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