INDIANAPOLIS — Irvington neighbors are rallying behind a seven-year-old girl who was struck and killed in a crosswalk outside her school Tuesday.
“Just slow down. We are humans. We will get there,” says Michelle Roberts who passed by the intersection minutes before the accident happened, “It’s an awful scenario, but unfortunately one that is not shocking because of that intersection and the speed.”
Dozens of neighbors showed up for a candlelight vigil at the school Wednesday night. It is the beginning of the healing process for a community that is still trying to wrap its head around how this happened. Police say two drivers got into a disturbance as they were approaching the intersection of East Washington Street and North Ritter Avenue. The altercation ended after one of those drivers struck another vehicle before hitting the girl at crosswalk.
”Part of the challenge is we have a lot of motorists that are not heeding those calls, that are prioritizing their convenience, their emotions, or whatever it might be, over the safety of the neighborhood and those around them. The challenge with Washington and Ritter is there are so many things that are there already that make it a better intersection than many others. It already has a stoplight. It has a crosswalk. It has school signs, school speed limit signs with yellow flashing lights, both directions on Washington Street. IPS had a crossing guard there. All the indicators are there that this is an important intersection to take caution and be careful,” says City-County Council member Jason Larrison, “We certainly need to have additional traffic enforcement out there, and we’re working on trying to get more officers out there, but there is just a high demand for the officers that we have.”
The Marion County Coroners Office says that girl is Hannah Crutchfield. After the accident, she was taken to the hospital where she later died. Two adults were also injured, including a crossing guard at the intersection. Roberts had just passed through that intersection minutes before the accident. She spotted that crossing guard as she came by. That guard attended the vigil Wednesday with his arm in a sling.
“I just thought to myself, when we locked eyes at that moment, that he is such a kind human, and that he helps anybody, it doesn’t have to be kids, even an elderly person,” says Roberts.