INDIANAPOLIS — Weeks after a child was struck and killed near his bus stop on the city’s east side, a big change has been made to help protect students getting on and off the bus.
On the morning of March 18, 7-year-old Sevion Sanford, a student at Lakeside Elementary, was killed in a hit-and-run while waiting for his school bus at the Warren Harbor Apartments near E. 21st Street and Yorkshire Court.
Sevion was hit by two cars, killing him. One of the drivers stopped, but police said the second, did not. Authorities are still working to locate that driver.
The boy’s mother told FOX59 on Wednesday she continues to hope that the driver will turn themselves in so that their family can begin to find peace and healing. She believes had they stopped, there is a chance her son’s life could have been saved and he wouldn’t have been struck by a second driver.
“I’m praying for the family, because it’s just like, it definitely could have been prevented and it’s horrible, no parent should ever have to go through that,” said Shay Boyd, a parent whose child also rides the bus.
Complex management shared that it worked with the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township collectively to come up with an idea of how to better protect students as they are at the bus stop.
When students living at the Warren Harbor Apartments return from spring break on Monday, they will get on and off the bus in a different spot, inside the apartment complex, rather than on the busy main road on E. 21st St.
“I still feel like people need to slow down and I feel like the bus stop should have never been that place anyway,” said Boyd. “The bus stop should be in the neighborhood, the buses should be able to turn around. We need to find a way to make it as safe as possible for our kids.”
The stop has been moved further into the driveway towards the first building and yellow “no parking” zones have been painted. Management at the complex said it is asking that visitors and residents obey these to allow more space for buses to safely pick up and drop off the students.
Signs in the area read, “the new Warren Harbor bus stop” and “school bus stop” and are visibly marked so that families know where to go as they head back to school on April 10.
Boyd said while she hasn’t received any notification from the school, she is glad to see efforts to improve safety for the children. Still, she said she believes the effort needs to involve the greater community.
“The community really just has to slow down and watch out for these kids. If y’all see a bus stop or slow down, it’s for a reason. Like use your brains,” said Boyd. “We know you’re trying to get to work, we know you have things, I do too, but if I see a bus stop, I stop because you know these kids have to cross the street, get on the bus and they’re young, they’re babies.”
She believes it is the responsibility of the drivers and adults on the road to make sure they are doing everything they can to protect the children waiting for bus stops across the city.
“It starts in the home, but kids are kids, they’re going to forget, they’re going to react without thinking. We have to be the adults. We are the adults,” said Boyd. “Hopefully we learn from this situation and it does not happen especially like this.”
FOX59 also reached out to MSD of Warren Township Schools for information on the change. We will update this story with any response received.
IMPD said the first car that hit Sevion is a light-colored sedan. Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call IMPD’s Hit and Run Office at 317-327-6549 or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477 (TIPS) where you will remain anonymous.
“I’m praying for the family and we love you Sevion,” said Boyd.