Crime Watch 8

Witness to fatal school zone crash speaks out, 2 facing charges in case

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — To most, the afternoon of Sept. 14 is a tragic memory. But to Julie Patterson, it’s a daily reminder of how precious life is.

“It comes at you so fast that, you know, you can’t do anything,” Patterson said. “But it didn’t, it changed directions and it didn’t hit me. I have terrible survivors guilt over that. I mean, a precious 7-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her and you know, here am I.”

On that Tuesday afternoon, Patterson met her friend in Irvington to go on a run. She says the two were running down Ritter Avenue to get to Ellenberger Park to continue their run when they came to the intersection of Washington Street and Ritter Avenue, near George W. Julian School.

“It was 4 o’clock and school was letting out and there was crossing guard. Light was red, it was pretty obvious. He said, ‘Let’s go.’ It was mom, two daughters, me and my friend and we went across,” Patterson said.

However, what happened next wasn’t so easy for Patterson to explain.

“People were yelling at each other and people were such in a hurry to get through that intersection to get where they needed to be. It was horrific,” she said.

Police say two cars came through the intersection. One hit and killed 7-year-old Hannah Crutchfield. Crutchfield’s mom and a crossing guard were also injured.

Now, 21-year-old Torrell King faces charges for reckless homicide and criminal recklessness and so does a 17-year-old girl. The girl faces various charges for operating while intoxicated.

Court documents show she had THC in her system.

Prosecutors say King was chasing the teen after she cut him off. That’s when the teen swerved around another car, ran a red light and hit an SUV. Investigators say the SUV hit the three victims.

“I’m glad that her sister was a few steps ahead, and my friend was a few steps ahead so they didn’t actually, they saw the aftermath, but I saw it all and it was horrific,” Patterson said.

While the story isn’t easy to share, she hopes it will help save someone else’s life.

“There’s so many people on Washington Street going so fast. Is this because of the work on the interstate? The north split? That particular intersection just seems like it’s always ripe for problems and boy, that day it was,” Patterson said.

The Marion County Prosecutor wants to try the teen driver as an adult. IMPD says King has not yet been arrested.