Wheatfield residents pushing for sidewalk, after teen's death

Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 20, 2016

Family members and neighbors are pushing for a sidewalk to be built in memory of 16 year-old, Ryan Fischer.

The teen's life was cut short two years ago. He was the victim of a hit-and-run incident in the Town of Wheatfield. A car hit him while he and his girlfriend were walking down Kruger Road in Wheatfield, less than a quarter of a mile from his home.

His step-mom, Kelly Dueger said Fischer's death could have been prevented if there was a safe place on Kruger Road to walk. The road only has a few inches on both sides between the pavement and grass for pedestrians. Neighbor, Deborah Fedal said speeding is an issue as well.

"Our roads are dark. Our roads don't have hardly any shoulders. They have children. They have families, and like I said, I look around my house and I see my grandchildren and I see weddings and Ryan's Family will not have that," Fedal said.

Dueger and Fedal have presented hundreds of signatures on petitions to the town, requesting a sidewalk. Wheatfield Town Supervisor, Robert Cliffe said the town is pursuing a grant. However, he's concerned about who will pick up the remainder of the cost, with Wheatfield only having a $12-million annual budget.

"I think there is always going to be the potential for the need for sidewalks, but it's not just Kruger Road," Cliffe said.

The Town of Wheatfield has a comprehensive plan that's suppose to improve the safety with sidewalks. Both, Dueger and Fedal say they will do everything in their power to make sure this gets done.

"We do love Wheatfield. But we want it safer for everyone," Fedal said.

"I'm not going to go away until something is done," Fischer's step-mom said.

The estimate cost of building the side walk is $945,000. Supporters are hoping the grant will cover 80 percent of it. They are looking at options for the remaining 20 percent.

Town leaders could know as early as Spring 2017, if they are approved for the grant.