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Group pushes to increase pedestrian safety after deadly hit-and-run crash

A group push to increase pedestrian safety after deadly hit-and-run crash
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Posted at 11:10 PM, Nov 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 16:37:49-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An unwanted reality striking our community is increasing concerns about pedestrian safety, after yet another person was killed Tuesday morning in a hit-and-run crash.

"We only saw 38 people struck last year at this time, with three fatalities. And so far, this month we've now seen 71 people struck with four fatalities," Eric Holt, Founder of IndyPed Crisis said.

Metro police are looking for the driver who killed a pedestrian in a hit-and-run crash this morning on Indy's far Southeast side. The coroner's office said they've identified the victim's potential family, after asking for help identifying them earlier Tuesday.

"It's upsetting. Because with this being a straight shot road, people are flying up and down the road all the time," said Bailey Bruce.

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Bruce wasn't expecting to see the incident unfolding Tuesday morning in front of her home while she was getting ready for work.

"I heard a lot of sirens, and I looked out the window and saw a bunch of cop cars, fire trucks, and ambulances. I was immediately concerned. I saw a school bus and was initially in shock like hopefully nothing happened to the kids," Bruce said.

A few hours later, she learned what really happened.

"I just hope people take it to heart that somebody was killed out here," Bruce said.

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A male possibly between 16 and 24 was hit by a person driving a vehicle, according to IMPD. The man was hit near the intersection of Southeastern Avenue and Wildwood Drive. The driver who hit him was nowhere to be found.

IMPD later announced the suspect's vehicle is a 7th Generation, 2015-2023 black Dodge Charger with a spotlight and aftermarket rims. Police released the following stock image of the car:

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"Just goes to show, this issue is not getting any better, it is continuing to get worse and it's going to continue to get worse if we don't as a city take some drastic action on it," Holt said.

Holt has been pushing Indianapolis City-county council to work on a "Vision Zero Plan" to decrease pedestrian and biker fatalities.

"Specifically, we would like to see dedicated funding for rapid response, traffic calming, and pedestrian safety efforts," Holt said.

Changes Bruce hopes to see as well.

"I hope maybe more lighting around because it's really dark in the mornings,” said Bruce. “At least get bigger walking paths. There are a lot of streets in the township that if people are to be walking, it's so easy for people to get hit."

"There are real people behind these numbers that come out every day. I think that kind of gets lost a little bit. You know people think it doesn't affect me. Um, it might not be today but it might be tomorrow," Holt said.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (IMPO) adopted a "vision zero" policy in 2022. Now it's been working on a "vision zero toolkit" that communities can use to pursue a reduction in transportation deaths.