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Indianapolis woman wants safety measures before someone dies

Posted at 12:40 AM, Jun 07, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — A local woman is terrified someone is going to die in the creek behind her home if a guardrail isn't installed to keep cars from flying off the road.

The creek bed is about the last place you would expect to find a junkyard, but that's what it has become. There are car parts littered throughout the creek. Kathy Hite lives nearby and said the city needs to take action to stop cars from ending up down a 30-foot drop before the worst happens.

"I've done all I can to prevent people from getting hurt or killed," she said. "It's gonna happen again."

Hite is still haunted by the memory of what happened in May.

"You can still see some of his tracks," Hite said. "I heard a horn just constantly going, and I thought, 'Oh my God,' so I called 911."

The crash report filed by police says the driver was heading east on 71st Street and drove through the intersection of Fairwood Drive into a ditch about 20 feet off the roadway.

"I can't imagine all of a sudden you're driving and of a sudden you're in the air, just flying," Hite said.

Hite wants the city to install something where 71st Street dead-ends to protect drivers from going into the ditch.

"Trying to get a guardrail or barrier put up because we've had at least four or five accidents in the past three years," she said.

The investigating officer in the May crash said alcohol might have been a contributing factor, but no charges have been filed against the driver.

"My friends in IMPD might have more advice on whether a guardrail could have prevented alcohol impaired driving," Betsy Whitmore, chief communications officer for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, said in a statement. "Guardrails are intended to protect drivers parallel to the guardrail. Hitting a guardrail perpendicularly could cause serious injury or worse."

But Hite said she is trying to prevent it from repeating.

"Somebody's gonna get killed," Hite said. "Lights, something flashing with reflective lights. Something that's gonna let someone say, 'Hey, stop.'"

Hite is just hoping something will change so her next call to 911 isn't for a dead driver.

"It's gonna happen again," she said.

A spokeswoman from DPW said that from a civil engineering standpoint, guardrails are installed to prevent vehicles from hitting something more dangerous than a guardrail — like a steep drop.