Hit-and-run numbers skyrocket in Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It’s a crime that’s becoming more common than ever. Indianapolis police are investigating the city’s latest deadly hit-and-run crash.

The fatal collision took place Thursday night on the city’s west side near West Washington Street and Holt Road.

Simply walking down the street got a man killed after a thief stole an SUV.

“It was a guy’s decision to take a car that didn’t belong to him that took a life with him,” said witness Lizbeth Garcia.

Lizbeth Garcia’s dad parked her SUV outside the restaurant where she works, but made the mistake of leaving the truck running unattended when he went inside to drop off some food.

Surveillance video shows the innocent victim, identified by the family as Guy Michael Gray, walk in front of the business when the suspect slammed the SUV into reverse to steal it.

“It breaks my heart to see a life taken and I feel maybe it’s my fault because I asked my dad to come. I feel bad. I really do,” said Garcia.

After the crash, Lizbeth watched the victim bleed to death as she called 911.

“I thought okay the truck is gone, but a guy’s life is there. I saw him moving and I saw when he just stopped,” said Garcia.

“It shows just a lack of human emotion and caring to hit someone and drive off for your own sake,” said IMPD Sgt. Doug Heustis.

Hours later police recovered that stolen SUV at 56th Street and Georgetown Road. Two suspects were taken into custody.

Unfortunately, hit and run numbers in Indianapolis have increased significantly the last couple of years. Property damage collisions have gone from 3,765 in 2014, to 4,427 in 2015 to 5,502 so far this year. Hit-and-run incidents resulting in injury have also spiked from 378 in 2014, to 450 in 2015 and 587 so far in 2016.

While fatal crashes have also gone up from nine in 2014 this year’s total of 15 is actually slightly less than the 17 in 2015.

“It’s kind of frustrating to see these numbers come in,” said Heustis.

Sgt. Heustis says there’s no obvious cause for the increases, but reminds all drivers of their moral and legal obligation to stop after an accident.

“Be a human for a little bit. Have a heart or try to at least,” said Garcia.

Police are still trying to determine what role the suspects they found in the car played in the actual hit-and-run. So far, no arrests have been made.

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