INDIANAPOLIS – A man is dead following a fatal hit-and-run on Indy’s south side.

Police say an off-duty IMPD civilian employee was headed home from work when they spotted the victim dead in the southbound lanes of State Road 37 at Epler.

Police believe the victim, identified Wednesday afternoon by the Marion County Coroner’s Office as 50-year-old Charles Smith, was hit by a car that sped away.

Unfortunately with 3 months left in the year, the city has already matched the total number of deadly incidents from all of last year.

“People need to understand when they hit a person, that is someone’s loved one.  It’s a human being and you need to stop,” said Albert Jackson.

Albert Jackson didn’t know the man killed Tuesday night, but Albert’s brother died exactly two weeks ago while riding a Lime scooter to work on west Washington.

59-year-old Joseph Jackson’s death marked the 19th fatal hit-and-run in Indy this year and a tragic loss for his entire family.

Family approved picture of Joseph Jackson

“We’re a family of 8 siblings and this is the first time we’ve lost anybody in our family since our father’s death in 1972 and it’s tremendously heartbreaking,” said Jackson.

IMPD confirms the death on state road 37 is now the 20th fatal hit-and-run they’ve investigated this year.  That matches last year’s total and exceeds any other recent year.

“What I would say is that accidents happen and the unfortunate reality is that when you leave and you flee, you only make the situation significantly worse,” said IMPD major Mike Leepper.

Police overnight said poor street lighting and a lack of sidewalks in many parts of the city have contributed to the problem and urged drivers to be vigilant.

“The message that we want to send as an agency is that we want people to be paying attention, especially when they are driving at night,” said Leepper.

Joseph Jackson’s family, who will hold his funeral on Thursday, agreed with IMPD’s message.

“It needs to be heard that people need to be careful,” said Jackson.  “Accidents happen, but take responsibility for what you do.”

While the state and not the city is responsible for infrastructure along 37, city leaders point out as part of Light Up Indy, DPW has installed nearly 2,300 new street lights over the last few years.  350 more lights have also approved.

In addition, 30 million dollars has been set aside for new sidewalks in the 5 year capital budget.

IMPD reports half of this year’s deadly hit-and-runs remain unsolved.

Anyone with information on those cases including the one here overnight can contact either IMPD or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

The Jackson family has set up a fundraiser to try and raise money for funeral expenses. That info can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/un3m56-family-is-in-need-of-help