INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A carjacking victim was shocked to learn his car was involved in a crash that left an innocent driver dead on Sunday morning.
The crash happened at the intersection of 16th and East Riverside Drive around 10:30 a.m. The victim who died was 79 years old. Police are waiting to release his name pending family notification.
Police say the victim was driving south through the intersection when the stolen car hit him, scattering debris across the pavement and sidewalk.
It all started with a crime about 90 minutes earlier on the west side of town.
“His car was over here. He was just opening the door,” said Salvador Ramirez, as he translated what happened to Ramon Mejia.
Mejia said he was walking to his car Sunday morning in order to buy groceries for a family party.
When he went to put the keys in the door, he said a man came up behind him and put a gun to his neck demanding money and his keys.
“At the time he was like, he didn’t know if it was maybe his last time that he would breathe or something,” Ramirez explained. “So at that time he was like I’m not going to take any chance so he gave the people everything he had.”
More than an hour later, police said an Eskenazi Security Officer, who was controlling traffic for the Miracle Ride, spotted the stolen car.
“He had the vehicle in his sights and that’s when the pursuit started,” said IMPD Officer Christopher Wilburn.
Unfortunately, the pursuit ended with the fatal crash. Mejia’s stolen Toyota Camry was mangled after crashing into a Honda Accord.
All three suspects in the car were put in hand cuffs, but the excitement of their arrest didn’t last after police learned the 79-year-old man hit in the crash didn’t survive.
“I don’t want us to forget that. It’s important for us to know that. And this family has a great loss this Sunday morning,” Wilburn said.
A loss that Mejia was devastated to hear happened.
“He feels bad for the victim who was in the car accident and he doesn’t think the guys who stole his car should be out in the streets,” said Ramirez.
“We’ve lost a member of the community. But we do have the suspects in custody, so that for us is reassuring and I know for the families it will be reassuring as well,” added Wilburn.
An Eskenazi Hospital spokesperson told 24-Hour News 8 that their security officers are Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies; therefore they can pursue suspects on and off their campuses.
Police haven’t identified the men arrested in this case and wouldn’t say if they had a criminal history. Officers did find a gun at the crash scene which could be the weapon Mejia said was pulled on him.