18-year-old skateboarder dies after getting hit by van in Crawfordsville

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — An 18-year-old skateboarder was hit and killed early Tuesday morning in Crawfordsville.

The teen was with two of his friends along Waynetown Road.

“It’s devastating. Absolutely devastating,” said Bob Rivers, detective lieutenant with the Crawfordsville Police Department.

The group of three was heading down on a hill when a van hit Christopher Wood from behind. The driver stayed at the scene and told police he didn’t see the group. Wood later died at the hospital.

“You have his family just understandably distraught. You also have his two friends that watched his friend get hit. And even on the other side of it, you have this driver, who has kids himself, just having to go through that,” said Rivers.

Crawfordsville police are calling this a tragic accident. Instead of placing blame, officers are putting out a reminder to pedestrians and drivers.

“Just be vigilant, and really be aware of your surroundings. As far as being in a vehicle, just know and expect that you are sharing the road, and really try to be a good defensive driver,” said Rivers.

Police say 20-30 minutes before this accident, an officer saw the group of friends and stopped to tell them to be careful. That same officer was in the area, heard the crash and was one of the first on scene.

“That could happen to anyone. I don’t think it was because he was a kid, or he was young or because someone was driving bad. I just think it just happened, and it’s unfortunate,” said neighbor Mitch Toler.

Toler lives in the neighborhood right across the street and saw police on scene that morning.

“As a frequent runner and athlete out on these roads, I think about that for myself. That’s scary,” said Toler.

The accident happened around 6:15, before sunrise. The stretch isn’t well lit. Police are encouraging cyclists, skateboarders, joggers, and pedestrians to wear reflective clothing.

The group of three never made it over to their friend’s house. Toler doesn’t know any of the of young men involved, but since the tragedy, they’ve all been on his mind.

“I think because it’s so close to my home, my actual house, it really makes me think because I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want that to be any of the kids in this neighborhood or anybody,” said Toler.

Christopher Wood is from Cayuga. Speed, alcohol, and drugs are not believed to be factors. At this time, no charges have been filed.

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