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Drivers that struck & killed three teen pedestrians 'appeared to be racing,' according to witness

One driver was traveling roughly 88 mph
Kierra Brown David Evans Tyjiana Velez.JPG
Posted at 2:16 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 23:45:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Two of the drivers involved in the crash that killed three teen pedestrians over the weekend "appeared to be speeding," according to a witness.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears filed charges against Okadema Link and Shantiana Willis on Thursday for their alleged roles in the fatal crash Saturday that resulted in the deaths of Kiera Brown, 15, David Evans, 14, and Tyjiana Velez 13. Link is Willis' father, according to court documents.

The three teens were walking in the 3600 block of Kessler Boulevard North Drive around 1:20 a.m. when a chain-reaction crash occurred in the area and one of the vehicles struck them.

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According to court documents filed against Link and Willis, the two were traveling at excessive speeds in the moments before the crash. Witnesses described two vehicles, allegedly driven by Link and Willis, driving at a high rate of speed before crashing into one another.

One witness told investigators the vehicles "appeared to be racing."

According to court documents, investigators believe Link’s vehicle was traveling approximately 73 mph, two seconds prior to the crash and Willis’ vehicle was traveling approximately 88 mph just before the crash.

The speed limit on Kessler Boulevard North Drive is 35 mph.

After the initial collision, investigators believe Link drove over the white fog line and struck the teens. Link then fled the scene but later returned.

Link has been charged with three counts of leaving the scene of an accident, level 3 felonies, three counts causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated, level 4 felonies, and three counts reckless homicide level 5 felonies, according to court documents.

Willis has been charged with three counts of causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Level 4 felonies, three counts of reckless homicide, level 5 felonies, and three counts causing death when operating a vehicle with an ACE of .08 or more, level 4 felonies, according to court documents.

“Reckless driving can result in devastating consequences, as we have seen through the tragic deaths of these three young lives. I extended my deepest condolences to the families of Kiera Brown, David Evans and Tyjiana Velez,” Mears said in a press release issued Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday evening, a lawyer for the family of the teens and the mothers of the teens spoke during a press conference. You can watch it below:

Purpose of Life Church Pastor David Greene Sr. is pushing the city to install sidewalks in the area to make it safer.

PREVIOUS | Pastor pushes for sidewalks in area where three teenagers were struck and killed

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call IMPD homicide detectives at 317-327-3475 or submit tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477) or online.