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Dog's death prompts call for slower rural speeds

Rocky the Bulldog was killed on Sherwood Road. Photo provided. (click for larger version)
October 13, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- An area family is mourning the loss of a family pet after a hit and run motorist on a rural township road killed their dog.

Margo Gonzalez, who lives in the 3000 block of Sherwood Road, said on the afternoon of Oct. 7 a neighbor witnessed a red Blazer heading west on Sherwood Road hit the family's 2-year-old English bulldog Rocky.

"We have a big wooded yard and Rocky, along with our 10-year-old pug 'Buster,' like to be out there chasing squirrels and playing," said Gonzalez, a township resident for the past two years. "He must have roamed just a little too close to the road. The motorist just kept driving after hitting him. My 12-year-old daughter Jordan was in the yard playing and found Rocky along the side of the road in front of our home."

Gonzalez said a passing motorist in a pickup truck stopped when he saw the little girl crying over the dead dog.

"The man asked if he could help. Jordan explained what happened and he expressed his sorrow for the incident. The dog was too heavy for her to pick up so he lifted the dog on the back of his truck and drove up the driveway. The man laid Rocky in the grass—and was upset the person who hit the dog had kept driving. I'm thankful for the random act of kindness from a stranger."

"What can I say, there are inconsiderate people that could do such a thing I would think if you hit a dog at least stop. More than that, it's lucky it was not a child...The speed limit is now at 55 mph," said Gonzalez. "Do you really have to drive that speed? A lot of residents walk or kids ride their bikes along that road everyday."

Many residents like Gonzalez who live along area gravel roads were angered to learn of a revised state law, enacted by the state legislature in March 2006, that increased the speed limit on roads previously posted at 25 mph to 55 mph—even in residential areas. About 283 gravel road segments in Oakland County, including Brandon and Groveland townships, previously posted as 25 mph zones, were impacted by the change

."Jordan said she is going to write a letter to Granholm or lawmakers regarding the speed limit," said Gonzalez. "Just slow down on these back roads."

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