City council hopes to make NW Atlanta road safer after woman’s death last year

Valerie Handy-Carey (right) speaks Friday about her daughter, Brittany Glover, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash last year.

Credit: Ben Gray

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Valerie Handy-Carey (right) speaks Friday about her daughter, Brittany Glover, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash last year.

Credit: Ben Gray

Brittany Glover was a newly minted flight attendant for Spirit Airlines when she moved to Atlanta in August of last year, but her dreams were shattered when she was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver shortly after the move.

The 33-year-old was killed while crossing Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway near Finley Avenue in the early morning hours of Sept. 19. At the time, Atlanta police said she wasn’t in a crosswalk when she was hit at about 2:30 a.m., and the driver sped away. No one has been arrested, and the case remains open.

Since then, her mother, Valerie Handy-Carey, has taken it upon herself to raise awareness about pedestrian safety, traveling to Atlanta from Ohio on Friday to attend a city council meeting to request that improvements be made along the busy thoroughfare.

Citing a 23% increase in pedestrian fatalities in Atlanta from 2021 to 2022 (31 vs. 38), Handy-Carey called on the council to decrease the speed limit (from 35 to 25) on Hollowell Parkway and to install extra traffic cameras and better street lighting. The data she cited was compiled by Propel ATL, an advocacy organization for safe bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure.

However, the northwest Atlanta highway is a state route, meaning it will be up to Georgia legislators to make those improvements, councilmember Keisha Sean Waites said during a news conference.

“We will be going over to the state Capitol, working with members to do that, given that it’s a state road in the city, and urging resolution,” she said. “The challenge, however, it’s that this is a larger problem because, in Atlanta, we’re not a pedestrian-friendly community. ... So it is my hope to join Ms. Handy, the family and other legislators throughout the city and state to change engineering designs in communities where we’ve had these types of challenges.”

Additionally, $10,000 has been allocated — set to be approved by the full council Monday — for a reward for any information that leads to an arrest in Glover’s case.

“No, that will not bring Brittany back,” Waites said. “Her life is invaluable. But nonetheless, for someone who may know something, (the reward) may be a motivating factor.”

Almost a year ago, a man attempting to cross Hollowell Parkway in the 2500 block was struck and killed by a driver who didn’t stop, according to police. That victim was also hit after dark, at about 9:45 p.m., near Club Crucial. Police have not announced any arrests in that case.

Hoping that their pleas will reach the person who struck Glover, her aunt, Kimberly Handy-Jones, asked for the suspect to come forward and turn themselves in.

“Free yourself,” she said. “Because if it don’t come out in the wash, it will in the rinse, and we’ve given you an opportunity to come forth and do the right thing.”

Another metro Atlanta woman, 31-year-old Quanisha LaShay, was killed in November 2022 in a hit-and-run in DeKalb County. Her mother, Courtney Thompkins, has joined forces with Handy-Carey to push for safer streets for pedestrians across the state.

“We need to learn to work together on this big issue ... we have to come together as a whole,” Thompkins said at the news conference. “It can’t be separate because it’s not going to work that way.”

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