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Deadly hit-and-run in Indy sparks warning about sidewalk safety in the winter

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis woman was killed in a hit-and-run on Indy’s east side.

The victim has been identified as 22-year-old Immanuela Irving. Investigators believe Irving was struck by an IndyGo bus and then a second car that sped away from the scene. Police are still searching for that second driver.

Police say the deadly hit-and-run could serve as an important safety lesson.

Shoveling in front of a friend’s home, Sylvester Austin spent Tuesday morning clearing snow from the public sidewalk along east 34th Street.

“Right here it’s just a problem right now,” said Austin.

Yet, 48 hours after the snow stopped, the sidewalks on both sides of 34th remain almost entirely covered in snow and ice. Sylvester wishes homeowners would do a better job clearing the path for pedestrians.

“I think it would be a good idea to do that,” said Austin. “It’ll make it more safe for people walking.”

It’s not known for sure if Irving was trying to avoid the snow-covered sidewalks, but police say it’s always dangerous to walk in the roadway.

“You’ve got to pretty much walk in the snow and stay out of the way. You can’t take this kind of risk,” said IMPD Capt. Robert Trout.

“I’m numb. I still can’t believe it,” said the victim’s mother, Hillary, who asked that we not use her last name.

Hillary says her daughter, nicknamed Faith by the family, was likely visiting friends in the area when she was killed. Hillary wants the driver who fled the scene held accountable.

“I just find it very callous and very uncaring that they would not stop at the scene of an accident. That’s not how we as humans should treat each other,” said Hillary.

City code states businesses, homeowners and those occupying any premises are responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow and ice, so far as it’s reasonable.

Those in violation can be ticketed up to $50, although a spokesman for Neighborhood Services says they haven’t handed out any such tickets this year.

So far no arrests have been made in the overnight death. As always anyone with information on the suspect can call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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