COLUMBUS, Ind. — A junior at Columbus East High School was struck and killed while attempting to board a school bus early Monday morning.
According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, the fatal hit-and-run occurred in the 1900 block of S. Gladstone Avenue at approximately 6:55 a.m. Monday morning.
Police say witnesses report the student was attempting to board a stopped school bus when she was struck by a passenger car. After striking the student, the driver of the car fled the scene. Police say a witness who observed the crash followed the fleeing vehicle, however, and the driver was taken into custody by officers.
The student was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital but died as a result of her injuries, police say.
Bartholomew County School Corporation identified the student as Lily Streeval, a junior at Columbus East High School.
Superintendent Jim Roberts says counselors are working closely with those students who were on the bus and Lily’s classmates as they process this devastating loss.
“You hope you never have a day like this,” Roberts said. “Her favorite class was auto-tech, and she had such an interesting passion for auto tech that she was thinking about it as a career after graduation.”
“As a school corporation, we experienced a devastating loss this morning. Our hearts go out to Lily’s family, friends, classmates and teachers who loved and supported her. She was full of life and enjoyed attending Columbus East High School. Auto Tech had emerged as her favorite class, and she was thinking about a career in this area. We will miss her greatly,” the school corporation said in a statement.
Shiam Sunder Shankara Subramanian, 25, of Columbus, was later identified by police as the driver of the vehicle that struck the student.
Police say Subramanian disregarded the extended stop arms of the school bus and struck the victim as she was crossing the street.
Subramanian is charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death, a level 4 felony, and passing a stopped school bus with arms extended causing death, a level 5 felony.
“We all have kids, kids that ride the bus, and it hits close to home for all of us who have to investigate something like this,” said Sergeant Stephen Wheeles with Indiana State Police.
Indiana State Police is working with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation and says this tragedy never should have happened.
“When you see a school bus, expect them to stop,” Wheeles said. “Regardless of if they have any lights flashing or not.”
“We are working closely with Bartholomew County School Corporation officials in regards to this investigation,” said Major Chris Lane with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. A tragic event like this affects many people, and we are thinking of everyone involved.”
An announcement of Streeval’s death was made to students and staff members at Columbus East High School and a moment of silence was held in reflection. The school said secondary-aged students were on the bus at the time of the deadly hit-and-run.
Support is being provided to all students and staff at Columbus East.