A year ago today, an Indianapolis man was hit and killed by a van while walking on the sidewalk in Fountain Square. Family and friends gather in the same spot on the one-year anniversary of his death to remember 22-year-old Brian Benson.
Benson and a friend were near Shelby and Prospect Streets on that December 18th day. Police said a van drove onto a sidewalk and struck both of them. Brian died on scene.
The 21-year-old driver told police he only had eight minutes to get to the airport.
“It’s almost like you’re an empty shell,” said Tina Benson, Brian’s mother. “You just go through the motions of life and you don’t see that much joy.”
Every day is still a battle for Brian’s family and friends. The day of his death not only falls a week before Christmas, those who know him believe justice has not been served.
“There wasn’t anything done. There was no justice for him,” said Jen Cronnon, who grew up with Brian. “It was just a life taken and nothing can replace that. That was my best friend.”
Charges were not filed against the driver of the van. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office determined nothing criminal was committed.
“It’s just so senseless. We really can’t believe it,” said Robert Benson, Brian’s father. “There has to be some kind of explanation why the driver did what he did. If it was equipment malfunction, or negligence on the driver; there has to be some answers, not just ‘Oh well.’ That’s kind of what we got.”
Brian’s family and friends know he would have wanted them to let go.
Tina said she is trying day by day.
“What little joy that you do get, it’s very brief and then it’s a crash again because you’re child’s gone.”