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Family of Hamilton Heights student killed on way to prom seeks criminal charges

ARCADIA, Ind. (WISH) — The families of Lendon Byram and Kalen Hart have waited since May to find out what happened in the moments leading up to their death.

The two were killed at a rural Hamilton County intersection on their way to prom. Hart was a Hamilton Heights High School student. Byram attended Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.

Kalen’s stepdad, Rob Conaway, said every day has been torture, and now that a report on the fatal crash has been released, things are even worse.

“The prosecutor for whatever reason, he hasn’t told us why, we have a meeting with him tomorrow to try and figure out why he’s refusing to press charges. If he’s afraid, he’s not going to get a conviction, that’s not good enough,” Conaway said Tuesday.

Documents from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office say the Prosecutor’s Office declined to file criminal charges in the case.

The report says the driver of the vehicle that hit Byram and Hart was given a speeding ticket for going 80 in a 55 mph zone. News 8 chose not to name the other driver involved because they are underage and not charged with a crime.

The crash documents also say if the driver had gone the posted speed limit, it’s unlikely the crash would have happened and that Byram’s car would have crossed the intersection safely.

The report says the exact location where Byram stopped at the intersection is unclear.

“They said they fully believed he stopped. They could not 100% verify that because his black box was damaged beyond being able to retrieve any information on it,” Conaway said.

Conaway said, for his daughter and her boyfriend, the consequence was losing their lives, and he doesn’t think the driver who hit them is being held accountable.

“My daughter and her boyfriend is worth more than a $170 speeding ticket. I’m not saying she needs to go to jail for 40 years, but, loss of license, having to take defensive driving, being on probation, community service?” Conaway said.

News 8 reached out the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office to learn more about the decision to not charge the other driver and did not hear back.

Conaway said his family has a meeting scheduled with the prosecutor on Wednesday, but he said they’ve already been told to not expect any changes in his decision.

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