Family of man killed in Midtown hit-and-run paint crosswalks in his memory

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Family and friends gathered in Midtown on Sunday to honor a man killed by a hit-and-run driver last year.

Those who knew him best described Christopher Phillips as man in love with Memphis.

"He loved everything: the diversity, the music, the food, the culture. He thought it was a wonderful town," Christopher's dad Joe Phillips said.

A hit-and-run driver cut his life short in February 2017 as he tried crossing the street at Madison and Morrison near Overton Square.

On Sunday, his family and friends honored his memory by painting three crosswalks at the intersection where he died.

"It serves to create a memory of him for us and helps a little with the healing--the wounded-ness that we're all still feeling," Dale Haile, Christopher's uncle, said.

Aside from loving Memphis, Joe and Laurie Phillips said their son was also a big music fan, which is why the crosswalks take on a music theme.

"And it's inspired by the Beatles. Christopher loved the Beatles," Christopher's mom Lauri Phillips said.

They sketched some of the lyrics from the Beatles' Golden Slumber song onto the road.

They also wanted to honor other victims, which is why birds are a big part of the theme.

"The birds are representing the masses of pedestrian fatality victims in the city," Lauri said.

In fact, over the last year, Christopher's family worked to make this street safer.

"There was not crosswalks here at that point in time, so we petitioned the city, got the crosswalks installed, got the speed limit reduced," Lauri said.

Through sweat and tears, family and friends of a man taken too soon hope to pay tribute to him and spare others the pain they're going through.

Police have not made any arrests in connection to the hit-and-run.

Earlier this year, the Phillips family filed a civil lawsuit, naming suspects and alleging a cover-up.

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