INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis man is behind bars after being charged with leaving the scene of a deadly hit-and-run crash that killed a 70-year-old man on the city’s northwest side.

Booking photo for Michael Wallace-Lyons

Riding a motorized scooter along west 56th Street, police said 70-year-old Wesley Jones II was hit and killed by a driver who fled the scene in mid-July.

According to court records, the suspect initially denied being involved in the fatal crash and came up with a cover story, but police claim video cameras at an adjacent restaurant captured the suspect leaving the scene without attempting to help the victim.

“I think it’s important that we send a strong message to the community we can’t tolerate this kind of behavior,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.

Prosecutor Mears said police quickly found the suspect’s damaged car with blood on the passenger side in this restaurant parking lot.

A few minutes after the crash the car’s owner, Michael Wallace-Lyons, reported the car stolen, but after police recovered video of crash, Wallace-Lyons admitted he accidentally killed the victim.

“We’re seeing far too many of these cases. It seems like driving has really deteriorated in our community,” said Mears.

So far this year IMPD has investigated 18 fatal hit-and-run crashes. That is a record pace that nearly matches the 20 deaths seen in all of 2021 and exceeds the total for several recent years.

A majority of this year’s crimes remain unsolved.

Pictures of unsolved hit-and-run victim Emily Johnson

“It’s been hurtful.  At times we feel weak.  We want justice for our aunt,” said Tiara Reeves.

Tiara’s 67-year-old aunt Emily Johnson was killed riding her bicycle last month on North Keystone when she too was hit by a driver who refused to stop.

No one has ever been arrested in that case.

Emily’s family urges all drivers to be more cautious behind the wheel and asks anyone with information on any unsolved hit-and-run to speak up.

“Accidents happen, but just stop. If it was your relative, you’d want the same thing. Slow down,” said Reeves.

Anyone with information on any unsolved hit-and-run can contact either IMPD or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

Court records show Wallace-Lyons had a previous pending charge of driving without a license.   He’s due in court for an initial hearing on Friday.