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Residents learn speed limit is 55 mph, not 25 mph, on road after crash nearly kills young boy

8-year-old boy nearly killed by driver on Brownstown Township road

BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Residents in Brownstown Township are waging a speed-limit battle after an 8-year-old boy was nearly killed by a driver who was going almost 20 miles faster than the posted speed limit.

This week, charges were dropped against the woman who hit the boy because prosecutors discovered the speed limit isn't the 25 mph posted on the signs, it's 55 mph.

Daniel Kiss was on his was to go swimming with his friends July 17 when he was hit by a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Daniel's bike was mangled and he was thrown 58 feet. He was barely alive when his father ran to him.

"Our little boy was laying in a ditch," Joe Wilder said. "Face down, bucked over, gurgling sounds coming from his mouth."

For medical reasons, an officer asked him not to touch his son.

"Impossible," Wilder said. "Heartbreaking, not knowing if he's taking his last breaths."

After almost a week, Daniel came out of his coma.

"He yelled out, 'Dad,' as I held him up and they changed his dressing," Wilder said. "He asked, 'Where's mom?' Words from God, right there."

But the family learned that all charges against the driver were dropped because, according to Michigan statute, the speed limit on the road is 55 mph. Police estimated the driver was going about 43 mph when she hit Daniel.

Neighbors said people driving 55 mph through the area would be disastrous.

"There'd be more accidents, but I'd move," Wilder said. "Now they're telling me they've misled me for the 15 years I've been here."

The county has placed a speed test on the road to determine what speed drivers go through the area, but residents have manipulated the test by putting a sign on the side of the road.

The sign says, "Speed determinator. Slow down." Officials said they're aware of the attempt to manipulate the speed test results.

Michigan State Police said it wants to get a real traffic study done, so it might have to come back and determine what the speed limit should be.

Neighbors said if the speed limit is 55 mph, they at least need stop signs to slow down traffic.

Residents said it's unclear who put the 25 mph signs on the road, but they believe the big ones at each end of the road were put up by neighbors. Even workers at the township thought the road had a 25 mph speed limit.


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