‘He was very kindhearted:’ coworkers remember man killed in northeast side hit-and-run, police search for driver

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INDIANAPOLIS – IMPD is searching for the driver of the vehicle responsible for hitting and killing a man Tuesday morning.

The victim has been identified as 28-year-old Xavier Smith, whose coworkers describe him as kind, caring and a hard worker.

“Xavier was a blessing to be around. He was very sweet, he was very kindhearted,” remembered Marie Jones, CEO and owner of Biggs Moving LLC, a Brownsburg-based company where Smith worked for the last four years.

Police responded Tuesday to the 5300 block of E. Fall Creek Parkway North Drive around 4:30 a.m. for a report of a crash involving injury to a person.

When officers arrived, they learned a blue Chevrolet sedan was traveling east, when the driver saw Smith standing in the middle of the road. According to investigators, the driver swerved to avoid Smith, but clipped him, knocking him to the roadway.

Police said the driver crashed into a tree line, briefly trapping him inside. He was able to force his way out of the vehicle and check on Smith, who the man said was sitting up and talking. According to IMPD, the driver of the Chevrolet could not find his cell phone, which was lost in the crash, so he went to get help.

After the driver left to get help, police said Smith was struck by a second vehicle. The driver of that vehicle fled without stopping to help Smith or provide information. Police said Smith died as a result of injuries.

“We were actually on a job when we heard this news and I was in complete shock,” said Jones. “I had to take a moment to gather myself and regain my composure because that’s shocking,” she said.

Indianapolis Hit and Run driver search
Stock photo of Nissan Pathfinder

Based on evidence gathered by investigators at the scene, police are looking for the suspect vehicle that struck Smith and fled, which they determined to be a silver, 2017 to 2020 Nissan Pathfinder. Detectives expect the Nissan will have obvious front bumper damage as a result of the crash.

“It’s somewhat disturbing when someone who doesn’t stay on scene to at least render aid, morally and ethically, you would think that a person would do so,” said William Young, public information officer for IMPD.

“Whether it’s a property damage accident, a personal injury accident, or an accident that causes death, it is extremely important that you stay on the scene,” he explained.

Jones said she will miss many things about Smith, including his ability to light up a room and help improve the job they do every day with his infectious personality and work ethic.

“Xavier always wanted to come in with a smile. He always wanted to come in with high grit,” she shared.

Jones said moving furniture isn’t an easy task, but when you have someone on your team like Smith, it makes it a bit more enjoyable, even in the elements like rain or warm, humid weather.

“Xavier was the type of individual that would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it, his last dollar if you needed it,” she shared. “Xavier was loved by so many.”

Jones said his work family has always called him the “X Factor.” They joked that he may be small in stature, but he was mighty in the weight he could carry both physically, and morally, in helping keep everyone in great spirits even during a hard day’s work.

Xavier Smith (photo provided by Biggs Moving LLC)

After news of his death made it to the team, she said they decided that he would want them to continue the move they were doing and do it well.

“As one of the workers said, you know, we’re going to make sure we execute this for him because he would have want it done, and he would want us to smile and he would have wanted it done correctly,” she laughed.

She said when you work side-by-side with someone for four years, something like this hits very close to home for the entire Biggs Moving family.

“It hit really hard. He was very close and to have to go back and to tell the guys that have worked with him every day the past four years, that hurt,” she said.

“We’re really gonna miss him. We’re gonna miss his vibrant energy, his laugh, his jokes, his smile. We’re just gonna overall miss him.”

Jones said she knows how much Smith loved his family.

“Xavier was loved by so many,” she said as she wiped tears. “It’s just very sad to hear someone that you’ve been very close to and someone who talks so much about his family to endure such a tragedy.”

She said his family extends beyond just those that are blood related; they also consider him part of their family.

“I mean, he’s got a family that loves him to pieces. He’s got a Biggs moving family that is in complete shock right now. This hurts,” said Jones.

Jones hopes whoever did this finds it in their heart to come forward or anyone with information, to let police know and help Smith and his family get justice.

“I really, for one, hope that you’ve got a heart, that you show some type of compassion. I mean, we don’t understand what happened and we never will, but we just hope that you find it in your heart for you to come forth and do what’s right,” she pled. “If you have any type of human decency and you’re a god-bearing individual, you’ll come forth.”

Young said, “We need the community’s help whenever we have an incident of this nature to bring those to justice and hold those accountable.”

“It’s about the family. That particular person left behind a family and we want to bring justice to that family,” said Young.

If you have information on the vehicle, call IMPD’s Crash Investigation office at 317-327-6549 or Crime Stoppers, where you can always remain anonymous, by calling 317-262-TIPS.

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