INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The family of a 16-year-old girl who died after a Saturday car crash into a retention pond is pushing for a guardrail near the site of the crash.
The crash happened along a dangerous stretch of road on the southeast side that for years has been nicknamed “Dead Man’s Curve.” The family of 16-year-old Ella Magyar is making it their mission to put up a guardrail to ensure that no family have to endure a loss like this again.
Three other teens were in the car with Ella Magyar. After coming around the curve on Frye Road, the car hit a tree then drove into a retention pond, near where the Magyar family lives. Two of those teens swam to shore, but Ella and 16-year-old Owen Leck were trapped inside when officers arrived.
The teens were taken to an area hospital, where Ella died. Owen is still in critical condition but improving.
On Sunday night, Ella’s sister, Amelia Magyar, placed a bouquet of flowers at the site of the crash. By the next day, flowers and gifts had been added, creating a colorful memorial in Ella’s honor.
“My family is going to push really hard to bring something good out of this tragedy,” said Magyar.
“Dead Man’s Curve” was a memorable spot for the Magyar family because of another crash that happened about a year and a half ago.
“I was coming around the curve I lost control of my car, my sister was in the back seat just like this instance, and we spun out and tapped a tree,” said Amelia.
Now the Magyar family is vowing to make a change. Cars have been slowing down to look at the memorial, but Amelia fears drivers will soon go back to speeding around the corner.
“There are so many people that just go off the road here. So many people that could potentially lose their lives, like my sister,” said Amelia.
That is why the Magyar family is going to use the extra funds from the GoFundMe set up for Ella’s celebration of life to put toward installing a guardrail. They have also started a petition for the guardrail that has almost 10,000 signatures.
“This guardrail, it is just going to be Ella helping them build it, and it is going to be her here watching people be saved by that and not have to go in there or not have to be slammed up against a tree,” said Amelia.
A GoFundMe has also been set up for Owen Leck, who on Tuesday remained in the hospital in critical condition.
When the call came in about the crash, IMPD Officer Jared Allen was nearby after responding to a different call, along with two other IMPD officers.
After hearing a car had driven into a retention pond and kids were trapped inside, Allen and the other officers rushed to the scene, arriving in seconds.
“Someone said that the car had gone into the water and that it was completely submerged, and two kids were still inside,” said Allen.
All IMPD officers have to pass a water rescue training, but Allen has a particular skill set that proved very helpful in this situation: For 10 years he was a competitive swimmer, even competing at the collegiate level at IUPUI through 2017.
“[I] was finally able to find the roof of the car, started doing some dives after that, was able to find a couple broken windows and openings, started feeling around to find the kids inside,” said Allen.
He was able to get Ella and Owen out of the water by the time the other crews arrived.
“Right place, right time, right skill set,” said Allen.
According to friends, Owen has started to respond to some of the tests doctors are performing on him, showing some kind of brain function.