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Community pushes for roadside safety after crash kills 3 teens walking

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three teens died Saturday after a multiple-car crash near the intersection of Kessler Boulevard and 38th Street.

Neighbors near the intersection say this isn’t the first time something like this has happened and it won’t be the last unless city leaders act soon.

Even at night, Kessler is a really busy road. but if you’re trying to get anywhere from the apartment complexes or businesses nearby, there’s no sidewalk, creating a danger for pedestrians.

Police lights flooded the entrance to The Woods at Oak Crossing apartments after 1:20 Saturday morning. Two cars collided, sending one across the median to hit a third vehicle, and one of those three vehicles ended up running off the road and straight into three teens who were walking outside the apartment complex.

“We’ve got to save lives,” Rev. David Greene Sr. said. “We’ve got to make it safe for people — pedestrians — to walk on Kessler.”

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Greene is the senior pastor at The Purpose of Life Ministries. He says being a neighbor to the busy street, he’s seen far too many accidents involving people along the side of the road. Just a few blocks away in October of 2017, a bicyclist was hit and killed by a car. In another accident that same year, a child was hit by a car.

“Periodically there’s always those accidents that involve pedestrians,” Greene said. “There are people who have gotten killed. Usually it’s just a single individual. It’s still tragic, but last night we had three people. Innocent young people who were killed as a victim because we don’t have those sidewalks in place.”

Greene says for years, the community has been trying to get a sidewalk put in along the road. He says they’ve made calls to city officials as recent as Saturday morning to bring awareness to the issue.

“Discussions we’ve had is that that sidewalk would be on the west side,” Greene said. “And if they had been on the west side, they would not have been hit by the vehicles. So in this particular situation it would have worked out. It doesn’t mean it will never, ever happen, of course. But in this particular situation, because the existing trail is on the west side, if they continue and connect it, then these three young people would still be alive.”

Greene says the church will hold a vigil at 10 a.m. Monday in the parking lot closest to the road.

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