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Community demands change after another child killed in hit-and-run crash

Posted at 11:25 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-20 07:43:48-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It only takes Robi McKay two minutes to drive from his home to the bus stop at East 21st Street and Post Road.

That's the area where 7-year-old Sevion Sanford was struck and killed in a crash Friday morning.

McKay is one of many who live in the area who are now calling for change after the crash.

“It's hit and run central over here,” McKay said.

A similar tragedy struck in September 2021. Then, 7-year-old Hannah Crutchfield died after being hit by two drivers at East Washington Street and South Ritter Avenue.

“It's gut-wrenching. It makes my stomach sink every time we have an incident like this, and we just have way too many incidents like this,” said Jason Larrison, Indianapolis City-County councilor for the city's 12th district.

Larrison thought about Hannah Friday morning when he heard about Sevion's death.

“The first thing that came into my head was, ‘We're going through this again,’” he said.

McKay says people speed through that part of town every day.

“It's more than depressing, It's more than sad. Something needs to be done over here because the cars come up and down these streets at ridiculous speeds,” he said.

Larrison agrees that the problem lies with drivers speeding and not paying attention, and that’s a problem that extends beyond 21st and Post.

Sandford and Crutchfield are two of at least five children killed by drivers in Central Indiana since August 2021, according to WRTV’s records.

Four of the five were heading to or from school.

“Something needs to be done. It's gotta be done. And it needs to be done immediately,” said McKay.

Larrison expects the council to take actions that will calm the traffic flow and reduce dangerous driving. But it will take time, and the council isn’t all-powerful. Drivers have to choose to slow down and keep their eyes on the road.

“Focus on school zones, focus on bus stops. These (are) places where our most vulnerable population, which is the children, stand four feet from where cars are going 45 mph right past them,” said Larrison. “None of these measures matter if drivers choose to ignore them.”