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'I didn’t expect to lose my daughter at 24': Two charged after July crash kills woman in Indianapolis

“I’ve cried every day since July 24th; it's days that I sit there and cry and I’m talking to my sister."
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Posted at 4:19 PM, Oct 26, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Two people are now facing charges after allegedly driving while intoxicated and crashing, killing one woman and seriously injuring two other people.

The three vehicle crash happened around 3:30 a.m. on July 24 at the intersection of East 56th Street and North Arlington Avenue.

Meleah Berry, 24, was a passenger in a Nissan Altima. When the driver was turning, a Kia struck the vehicle, causing the Nissan to spin. Berry and another passenger were ejected.

A third vehicle, a Toyota Camry driven by Makayla Spalding, lost control and hit the Kia.

Berry died at the hospital and four other people from the Nissan were injured and taken to the hospital.

WRTV spoke to Berry's family, who described her as a kind, carefree woman who was the life of the party.

“She was the baby girl of my three children; she was 24,” Genetra Berry, Meleah’s mother, said.

24 years ago, Genetra watched her daughter Meleahtake her first breath. Genetra said she brought her children to Indianapolis from Chicago for a better life.

By the time her sister got to the hospital the night of the 24, Meleah had already taken her last breath.

“I’ve cried every day since July 24th, its days that I sit there and cry and I’m talking to my sister,” Tycanna Berry, Meleah's sister, said.

Even though Meleah won’t come back – the mother and daughter have a message to share.

“Quit drinking and driving. Be more responsible – drink at home, or call a Uber or Lyft – that’s what they are here for,” Tycanna said.

According to court documents, Brandon Hall was driving the Kia. His BAC was .091%; the legal limit is .08. Using data from the Airbag Control Module, police say the Kia was traveling 116.8 miles per hour five seconds before the crash and 106.2 miles per hour at impact.

Using data from the Camry's Airbag Control Module, police learned Spalding's Camry was traveling 120.5 miles 8.8 seconds before the crash and 68 miles per hour .1 seconds before the crash, according to the affidavit.

The speed limit on that part of East 56th Street is 40 miles per hour.

Hall faces charges of causing death when operating a vehicle with an ACE of .08 or more and two counts of causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle with an ACE of .08 or more.

Spalding's blood alcohol result was .041%. She faces charges of reckless homicide and two counts of criminal recklessness. The criminal recklessness charges say that Splading's speeding created a substantial risk of bodily injury for two of the other Nissan passengers who were injured.