INDIANAPOLIS — Heartbroken family members are working to cope with the loss of a woman killed Saturday night in a hit-and-run on Indy’s near northeast side.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, officers responded around 10:50 p.m. to the area of 32nd Street and N. Keystone Avenue for a report of a hit-and-run crash with personal injury.
IMPD said officers on scene learned a bicyclist had been riding on N. Keystone Ave. when she was hit by the driver of a vehicle traveling south. The driver fled south on N. Keystone Ave. without stopping to provide information or help the victim, police said.
The victim, who the coroner identified as Emily Johnson, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, according to police.
“If she could do something for you, she would, no matter what. She was a lovable person,” said Emily’s brother John Johnson. “She was always there for me.”
John said his sister was there for him his entire life, regardless of what he was going through. He said people often joked she was like a mother to him.
“She had a kind heart,” John said.
“She was just a beautiful person. She didn’t bother nobody. She didn’t do nothing bad to nobody,” said Nicki Lunford, John’s significant other. “I don’t understand why somebody would do this to her.”
Family said that Emily left Saturday night to play lottery numbers, something she did often. As always, she rode her bicycle, heading towards the intersection of N. Keystone Ave. and 34th Street.
“She would play the Daily 4 every day, then she would wait til’ the last minute,” said John.
Family doesn’t believe she ever made it to the store, and more than anything, they’re devastated that she never made it home.
“I’m stuck with the image of my sister, and I live right here born and raised. I can’t even live right here no more because all I think about, no matter what, my sister laying in that damn street,” said John. “They just didn’t care about a human life.”
“It’s always gonna haunt me. It’s stuck in my head, the image of her laying in this street,” he added.
Neighbors shared their concerns over vehicles constantly speeding in the area and told FOX59 they were heartbroken and angry to learn about the crash that claimed Emily’s life Saturday night. Several said they have checked cameras to help provide anything that may be helpful to investigators.
According to family, Emily, who was in her late 60s, was a retired USPS employee and worked in government jobs throughout her life. They said she was born and raised in Indianapolis, was one of six siblings, and loved to talk to her neighbors, who she came to know over the years.
On Sunday afternoon, a neighbor placed a memorial of balloons, flowers, and a cross with a rainbow underneath.
John said he would have found it in his heart to forgive the driver responsible, had they stopped to help his sister.
“If you would have stopped, I don’t care what was going on with you, drunk or whatever, I would have forgave you,” said John. “I have a conscience and I have a soul, no matter what. For you not to stop and everything else, whatever you’re going through, you don’t have no regard for life.”
John said, it isn’t too late for the person responsible or anyone with information on the driver allegedly involved in the crash, to come forward with information. He is pleading for someone to do the right thing and help their family find some peace.
“I would give you respect because now you realize you’ve got a soul,” he said.
“You wouldn’t want somebody to do your family member like that,” said Lunford. “Whoever did this, come forward. You’re going to get caught.”
Investigators have not released any suspect or vehicle descriptions. Anyone with information on the crash is encouraged to call IMPD’s Hit-and-Run Office at 317-327-6549 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 (TIPS).