Victim still has struggles, as does push for pedway over Dixie - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Crash victim still has struggles, as does push for pedway over Dixie Highway

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Gretchen Rennirt barely remembers that morning. She knows that it almost cost her dearly. And she has the scars to remind her.

More than a year after being struck by a car while attempting to cross a busy intersection of Dixie Highway near Valley High School, Rennirt says she still has struggles, as does an online push to create an elevated pedestrian walkway across that section of Dixie Highway.

"Neither of us saw each other. I don't really blame the driver, it's not his fault," Rennirt said during an exclusive interview with WDRB News.

The crash in late August of 2012 left Rennirt hospitalized with a brain injury, broken pelvis and broken leg. The then-senior at Valley High School says she darted across the five-lane highway that morning to go buy a drink from a drugstore across the street.

The brain injury has affected her cognitive ability - making class work more difficult for the now-JCTC student.

"Basically it's been a struggle. But I've gone along with it but I've managed," she said.

Since her crash, a crosswalk and additional signage were added, but Rennirt knows students still dash across five lanes of Dixie Highway before school.

"It's sad to say that it takes a tragedy for people to wake up and want to make a difference."

AJ Johnson began an online push on Facebook a year ago to build an elevated walkway above Dixie Highway. The group page he started has more than 2,000 members. But Johnson admits, his online push has become somewhat stagnant since few other pedestrians have been struck.

But state Rep. Charles Miller, D - Louisville, said he is willing to revisit the issue even though state transportation officials have told him it's not feasible.

"They claim that it would be almost impossible to put one across but I really believe they would be able to do it if we really sit down and talk about it," Miller said.

"It would obviously eliminate the danger of getting whacked by a car," Rennirt said, who is in support of the elevated pedway. It's an issue that still haunts her.

"I try not to let it bother me, but deep down I think it does," Rennirt said.

No pedway project for Dixie Highway in the current highway plan, according to a state transportation spokeswoman. If it is to become a reality, lawmakers would have to include it in this upcoming budget session that begins in January.

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