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Indiana agency’s crowdfunding to honor IPS student killed while crossing street

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The state is stepping in to help make a memorial playground possible.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has announced a $50,000 campaign to build Hannah’s Memorial Playground.

Hannah Crutchfield died in September when she was hit by a car while crossing Washington Street in Irvington. Her mother and a crossing guard were also injured in the crash.

Shortly after Hannah died, her classmates at George Julian School 57 decided to rebuild their old playground in her honor. So far, they’ve raised about $80,000 but need $200,000 to complete the project.

On Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said if the school raises $50,000 by June, the Indiana Housing Community Development Authority’s CreatINg Places program will match it.

“I am just proud to announce today the launching of a campaign to raise $100,000 to make over this playground in honor of Hannah Crutchfield,” said the Republican lieutenant governor.

Hannah’s death has left many families in Irvington heartbroken.

“She is gone because of road rage and reckless driving,” Hannah’s mom, Cassandra Crutchfield, said.

She said it has also heightened the need for safer streets in the area.

“Things need to change. We need to prioritize pedestrian and cycling safety, not just here in Irvington but all over our city,” Crutchfield said.

She and many other parents have spent the last several months making their voices heard at the statehouse. Their efforts have gained support from state Rep. Blake Johnson, a Democrat who has previously introduced legislation to reduce reckless driving in school zones.

“There were many, many days at the statehouse this last session where I walked down the hallways and saw Cassandra there, and I can’t image the strength it takes after all this has happened to show up and convince a bunch of typically white old men to do the right thing. I hope that you’ll all be there with her because she’s already told me she’s going to be there everyday to help us get some stuff done over there,” Johnson said.

You can donate to Hannah’s Memorial Playground here.