Milwaukee woman who lost her brother in a fatal accident pleads for change: ‘It’s just not right’

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MILWAUKEE -- As the fatal consequences of reckless driving continue to make headlines in Milwaukee, another family is coming forward to share its loss. Police say 35-year-old Kenneth Matthews was hit and killed by a drunk driver on Oct. 5. His sister hopes that by sharing her family's pain, it will deter others from acting recklessly behind the wheel.

A collage of memories is all Dwayna Cole has left of her eldest brother, Kenneth Matthews.

Kenneth Matthews

Dwayna Cole

"He was a father, a son, a brother to many," said Cole. "He had lots of life left in him. And I just think it's unfair that this tragic incident had to happen like this."

Matthews was at a four-way stop at 51st and Fairmount when Milwaukee police say another car T-boned him. He was rushed to Froedtert Hospital.

"They tried their best to save him, but his heart stopped during one of the surgeries," said Cole.

Court documents show the other driver, 29-year-old Darrell Hardwick, was speeding at the time and had a blood alcohol content of .18. That's more than twice the legal limit. He's pleaded not guilty to the four felony charges against him, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

"Even after convicted and serving time, it's not going to bring my brother back," said Cole.

While Cole is advocating for a lengthy sentence, she says real justice for her brother would be an end to the impaired and reckless driving across Milwaukee.

According to MPD, 90 people have lost their lives in traffic incidents since the start of 2018. More recently, police say a driver ran a red light at 22nd and Center, hitting and killing two young sisters and seriously injuring a boy crossing the street.

Kenneth Matthews

Kenneth Matthews

"They don't know the hurt that they're causing these families," said Cole. "Not just mine -- everybody's."

A permanent pain Cole is still coming to terms with -- hopeful the reason behind it is only temporary.

"It's just not right," said Cole. "My message is to just please slow down. What are you in a rush for?"

A passenger in Hardwick's car was also taken to the hospital in critical condition. Hardwick's case is expected to head to trial.

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