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Business owner killed in accident signed plan to improve safety where he was hit

An East Price Hill business owner who died in an accident Tuesday morning had signed a plan to improve safety in the exact spot he was hit. (WKRC)

EAST PRICE HILL, Ohio (WKRC) - An East Price Hill business owner who died in an accident Tuesday morning had signed a plan to improve safety in the exact spot he was hit.

A vase of flowers, a donation box and a picture of the man the Guatemalan community knew and loved is part of a memorial for Federico Ventura.

Gina Pinto-Williams says he was a father figure to many.

“The Guatemalan community here in Price Hill is big. I think since he was a business owner and he had this store and he was always helpful, people see him as a father,” she said.

Ventura owned property on Warsaw Avenue and ran Tienda Latina Julia’s grocery store. The accident happened right at dawn about 6:45 Tuesday morning. He was hit as he left his grocery store and crossed Warsaw Avenue to the Kroger parking lot. There is no crosswalk at that section of road.

Ventura’s death is sparking concern about pedestrian safety.

“This actually turns into a river twice a day. A river of cars that speed. The speed through here is 25 miles-an-hour," said Sheila Rosenthal.

Rosenthal is the vice president of the East Price Hill Improvement Association. She said Ventura was a member and helped come up with a plan for a crosswalk in the exact spot he was hit.

"He had actually signed a letter to go to the city saying he supported the plan; so it’s really upsetting,” Rosenthal said.

At that same spot, our camera caught other people walking out into traffic. There is a crosswalk at the McPherson Avenue intersection, but the signal is partly blocked by a pole. Residents like Gagan Signh want drivers to slow down and watch for people crossing.

“They are flying through here, flying through here, and it’s a busy neighborhood. You’ve got kids here; you’ve got everybody here,” said Signh.

The plan by the East Price Business Alliance is called Warsaw Alive. Community leaders hope Ventura’s death will help put safety at the top of mind for decision makers at City Hall.

The driver who hit Ventura took off. Cincinnati police are still searching for that person. The only description is that the vehicle was a black sedan. A second vehicle hit Ventura again and dragged his body down the street.

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