Crime Watch 8

Toddler killed by hit-and-run driver; older sister who ran after him seriously injured

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Children are often forced to dodge reckless drivers while playing outside or walking to school along Nelson Avenue, residents said.

The 1600 block – near Interstate-65 on the city’s south side – has seen numerous near-misses in recent months, according to parents.

On Wednesday, 22-month-old Eli Anders was killed by a hit-and-run driver after wandering out of his family’s home around 11 p.m.

His 10-year-old sister tried to grab him when she saw him walking into the roadway, police told News 8, and was also struck by the vehicle. 

She was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children in serious condition.

The children’s mother said the 10-year-old girl was stabilized and recovering, but would have to undergo scans for possible liver injuries.

Eli was one of eight children in a blended family. Some relatives learned about the tragedy on social media, his mother said.

Mariela Torres, 9, learned about her neighbor’s death as she and her mother were praying for his recovery.

She heard the crash from her home and ran outside to see Eli and his sister motionless on the ground.

Her mother, Jacquelenna, was brushing her teeth and saw the aftermath of the accident reflected in her bathroom mirror.

“My heart felt as if it was going to [jump] out of my body because I was a little scared,” Mariela said.

She described the suspect’s vehicle as light green or gray. Another neighbor, who said he witnessed the accident, described it as gold.

Police continued questioning neighbors the morning after the incident but were unable to provide suspect or vehicle descriptions. 

Several families gathered near the crime scene Thursday night to demand justice. An infant shouldn’t have to die for officials to address dangerous driving on residential streets, they said.

Anybody with information about Wednesday’s fatal hit-and-run in the 1600 block of Nelson Avenue is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.