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Council approves traffic changes on North Wall The man who struck a boy with his car there also has been sentenced to prison

  • Gary L. Starks

    Gary L. Starks

Carbondale Times
updated: 6/14/2019 5:41 PM

A Carbondale man who fatally struck a 5-year-old boy with his car last summer was sentenced last week to 30 months in prison -- and that incident now has prompted traffic changes to the section of North Wall Street where it occurred.

State's Attorney Mike Carr announced that Gary L. Starks, 57, pleaded guilty June 6 to reckless homicide, a class 3 felony. Starks' period of incarceration is to be followed by a year of supervised release.

On Aug. 13, 2018, Starks was driving his vehicle on the road adjacent to Attucks Park at a speed of about 60 mph, according to Carr. He subsequently struck and killed Amar Philippe, 5, as the boy was crossing the roadway.

Shortly after the incident, residents presented a petition to the city council asking for speed bumps to be installed on Wall Street.

Following a series of traffic studies, the council opted against the installation of speed bumps, but instead on Tuesday approved upgrades the five existing mid-block crosswalks with new signs, pavement markings and pedestrian-actuated warning lights; the installation of marked bicycle lanes on each side of the street, which will narrow the traffic lanes to approximately 11 feet wide; and a reduction in the posted speed limit to 25 mph within East James and Thelma Walker Ave through East Fisher Street,