Police: Speed played a role in fatal east side crash

A man was fighting for his life after a crash on the morning of Nov. 30, 2017, that killed his passenger. The crash happened after 6:30 a.m. near the intersection of East 25th Street and Mitthoeffer Road on the city's east side. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man is fighting for his life after a crash Thursday morning that killed his passenger.

It happened after 6:30 a.m. near the intersection of East 25th Street and Mitthoeffer Road on the city’s east side. Police called the scene “very gruesome.” Medics pronounced the female passenger dead on the scene, and police aren’t sure if the driver will pull through.

But perhaps the most troubling part: Police say it could’ve been prevented.

On Thursday morning, people woke to the news of a fatal crash. Mike Voight didn’t have to turn on the news to learn of the crash. He simply had to walk out onto his front yard.

“The car landed right where that tree trunk is. It was sitting right in between these dead tree trunks,” he said.

Voight’s yard had deep skid marks, a tree trunk that was spread across the lawn, and a fire hydrant littered the grass about 100 feet from where it came from. The road had shattered glass across it.

“It sounded pretty grizzly,” Voight said.

But “grizzly” was putting it lightly. Not only did the crash kill the passenger, but police say the driver lost a limb.

“When officers arrived, he was actually outside of the vehicle. As I said, he lost a limb and one of his limbs is still inside the vehicle,” said Sgt. Chris Wilburn, a public information officer for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

According to Wilburn, the driver hit the fire hydrant first. Then he hit a tree, uprooted it and finally struck a second tree. The impact was so hard that it caused the car to spin. Police said they believe the driver was speeding.

“This is one of those instances where we need to come out and speak to the community as it relates to the speeds. As I was coming here, cars were driving high rates of speeds,” Wilburn said.

Police couldn’t quantify how big of a problem this is. But, Voight said, he’s witnessed a half a dozen accidents in the 3-1/2 years that he’s lived in his home.

“The last fire hydrant was just a couple months ago. The guy walked away from it,” he said.

But this time, they weren’t so fortunate. Now, Voight has this advice: “Might be fun to drive fast, but you’re endangering your life and the lives of others. So think about it.”

At last check, the driver was in critical condition. Authorities have not released their names pending family notification.