MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two serious crashes in the same spot in a northeast Memphis neighborhood have left several cars damaged and one woman without her leg.

Neighbors on are blaming excessive speeding on Hillshire for the wrecks.

It was around 7 a.m. on May 18, 2021, on Hillshire near Whitebark, when Shelby McDonald was hit by a vehicle. She was out early to go to her nephew’s kindergarten graduation, she said.

She doesn’t remember what happened after that, but her mom’s boyfriend Shane Williams does.

“We were just standing here talking,” Williams said. “I was by the middle of the truck. She was by the edge of the truck. … All of a sudden she’s gone, and her truck is in the driveway. I saw her. I actually thought it killed her. She was just laying there. I saw her leg. Thank goodness two people stopped by and helped get a tourniquet on her leg. One guy said a prayer.”

Photo taken by Williams

An ambulance arrived shortly after.

“I woke up at the hospital and asked them what happened,” McDonald said. “They said, ‘You got hit by a car.’ I look down and my leg is in a cage. They were trying to save it.”

Picture McDonald took of her leg

The surgeries didn’t work. Ten days later, her leg was amputated.

“I was mad. So angry,” McDonald said.

A little less than a year later in the same spot Shelby was hit, family friend Conner Rogers’ red SUV was totaled in a hit-and-run.

“The rear end is broken off underneath the vehicle. It’s hanging you can see. Broke the back glass. It’s not drivable,” he said. “My grandmother gave me this car when she passed away. This is something I had from her. I don’t have that now.”

While the crash reports don’t say whether speeding played a role, both Rogers and McDonald are convinced it’s to blame.

“He had to have been going 45-50 mph to do this type of damage,” Rogers said.

Map of Hillshire

Hillshire connects Whitten to Appling Farms Parkway. Neighbors tell us it’s used as a cut-through to avoid the interstate, and very few drivers understand the speed limit is only 30 mph.

“If you look down for a second and you’re speeding when you hit this curb and you’re not familiar with the road, you’re going to go up the yard. You can see the scar on that tree,” McDonald said.

Neighbors came to WREG for help claiming not enough is being done about the speeding.

Our investigation uncovered records that state since 2019, 86 crashes were reported on Hillshire between Whitten and Appling Farms. Most were at the major intersections, but 20 of them happened within this residential stretch.

Orange dots show crashes along Hillshire

It’s unclear how many cars involved in those crashes were speeding. MPD said it hasn’t received complaints about speeding. After our questions, it assured us it would issue a directed patrol.

In the meantime, we decided to find out for ourselves just how bad it is. We ordered a radar gun that guaranteed accuracy within one mile per hour.

To be sure, we tested it out. A WREG crew clocked another crew going 26 mph when their speedometer showed 25 mph. We tried again and the results were about the same.

We felt confident using the radar to clock drivers on Hillshire. We posted up around 7:30 a.m. when neighbors said speeding is the worst.

Right away, we found very few drivers were going the speed limit, which again is 30 miles per hour.

We snapped these pictures to show you what we found.

Cars were going 10 mph over the limit, and some over 20 mph.

The speeding happened during morning rush hour at the same time school buses were picking up children.

Neighbors say they’ve asked for speed humps. City officials confirmed they received a request in October and are actively reviewing it.

McDonald also created her own petition.

But as WREG Investigators reported, the demand for speed humps in Memphis is growing. More than 1,000 requests were submitted last year. MPD says there’s a waiting list, and it can take months, even up to two years, to get it approved.

McDonald said she’s afraid someone will wind up dead if change doesn’t happen. She said she’s beyond lucky.

While she may not rememebr that morning, the days after and the days to come are haunting.

“I don’t know. It’s going to be hard. I’m supposed to get a new leg if my insurance covers it,” she said.