Teen arrested for deadly Far East Dallas hit-and-run; 2nd driver still sought

Dallas police say a teen has been arrested for last week's deadly hit-and-run that killed a 73-year-old pedestrian in Far East Dallas. 

Police Chief Eddie Garcia made the announcement during a community meeting Thursday about street racing in Far East Dallas.

Two cars were seeing racing right before one of them struck Linda Pearson, 73, and drove off last week. 

Chief Garcia says both suspects are in their teens. He says one is already in custody and the other will be arrested soon. 

"The two individuals involved in this tragedy — one arrested and the other who will soon be arrested because our men and women will not stop — are both in their late teens," he said.

Chief Garcia did not say the name of the suspect who is in custody. He also did not give any other details about the investigation. 

Councilwoman Paula Blackmon hosted the meeting with Dallas police and the city’s transportation department to talk about the ongoing issue with street racing. 

Linda Pearson

Linda Pearson

"We are looking to modernize our transportation grid, upgrading our lights. But it does take time," she said.

The hit-and-run death of the woman and her dog also brought new attention to the dangerous conditions on Ferguson Road. 

RELATED: Dallas woman walking her dog killed by potential street racers

FOX 4 learned that there have been five fatalities along a three-mile stretch of the road between I-635 and I-30 in East Dallas in just the past eight months. Dallas police say they have issued 800 traffic citations in the area since January. 

"These roadways, most were conceived in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and the objective was to get people from point a to point b as fast as they can," said Ghassan Khankarli, Director of Transportation, City of Dallas.

Khankarli says Dallas now prioritizes pedestrians, bicycles and buses in addition to the efficiency of a road. That may mean design changes to existing roadways. 

RELATED: Search continues for street racers who killed Dallas woman walking her dog

"We have to be proactive and press forward to make sure we are doing everything we can," he said.

The city is already studying what's called a "road diet" for Jefferson Boulevard in the Winnetka Heights neighborhood. The six lane road is temporarily reduced to four lanes while the city studies the volume of cars and speed on Jefferson as well as the surrounding streets. 

Now, the city will consider if a similar study should happen on Ferguson Road. 

"It takes collaborative effort for education, engineering and enforcement. No one area will have impact without other areas" Khankarli said.

City staff is also looking at other ways to slow drivers on major roads with multiple lanes.

One example they are considering for parts of Ferguson Road is something they have already done on Ross Avenue in Downtown Dallas. If you drive on Ross near I-45, there are race pavement markings meant to slow people down. 

"We are looking at other upgrades to our traffic signal system as well as the ability to have some engineering options that we can implement, such as placing the race pavement markings across the roadway to try and slow down the traffic," Khankarli said.

Chief Garcia called on more legislation to help the issue. One law that recently passed allows law enforcement to seize vehicles belonging to repeat offenders, but that’s more reactionary and not stopping to the larger issue.