19-year-old driver strikes, kills pedestrian on Binford

One person was struck and killed on city's northeast side on Sept. 14, 2017. (WISH photo/John LeSage)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 19-year-old driver struck a man who was walking, killing him on the spot.

Investigators were trying to find out who is at fault.

It happened just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Binford Boulevard and 75th Street on the northeast side near Heritage Christian School. After the crash, the driver stayed on the scene. Witnesses told police that she did have the green light as she headed north on Binford.

It was an eerie scene on a busy road. Police held up a large sheet to block the view of what was behind it — a body that the coroner was removing. Dozens of cars drove past.

“It’s a shame to have to see him laying there,” Tammy Mitchell said.

Frank Swindler said, “I think the thing that bothered me the most is you can see that they’re holding up that tarp.”

Investigators said they believe the man was walking east on 75th Street when a woman hit him in her car. Authorities pronounced him dead on the scene.

“It’s tragic. That’s all I can say,” said Dean Wasylyshen, who works nearby.

Milton Woodson said, “That’s terrible. That’s terrible.”

The victim’s identity has not been released. But his belongings — a hat, brown dress shoes and a backpack neatly piled on top of one another on the scene — gave a glimpse of who he was.

“It’s somebody’s family. You know, he’s somebody’s son, somebody’s dad, somebody’s grandpa, uncle or just a friend,” Mitchell said.

Why the victim was walking in that area is still unclear. Northbound Binford Boulevard, which turns into Interstate 69 at the I-465 interchange, is one of the busiest roads in Indianapolis.

“It’s awfully busy, and I don’t think it’s very pedestrian-friendly out here obviously,” Mitchell said.

Swindler said, “Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings.”

According to police, the driver cooperated with officers. She submitted a blood test, as standard procedure anytime there is an accident that leads to death.

“So many people hit and run, and don’t stay and take up for their actions. If you don’t do anything wrong, that’s good,” James Jenkins said. He commended the 19-year-old for stopping.

Swindler wasn’t so accepting: “Green does not always mean just go.”

Toxicology tests could take weeks before the results are in. Police did not say whether or not they believe the woman was speeding. The coroner’s office hasn’t released the victim’s name pending family notification.