A four year old boy was trying to cross the street when he was hit by a truck and killed.
The street was a busy one: State Road 15 in the Town of Silver Lake, although the accident occurred in broad daylight and in dry conditions.
Today, community members struggled to come to grips with Logan Heeter’s death. Several stuffed teddy bears were placed near the scene of the accident as a make-shift memorial.
One of the visitors was Amanda Sexton. “I have a daughter the same age and if it was my daughter it would tear me up so I'm just showing my respect to the family,” said Sexton.
Logan Heeter had crossed the same street in the same manner—safely—just moments before.
Logan and two relatives—his uncle and his uncle’s girlfriend—walked to a convenience store before starting their return trip home.
“So I could see him. I was looking at him in my, farther away, the next thing that happened, that little boy, he just jumped out in front of that truck,” said witness Billy Slone. “They were standing right next to him, and he just jumped right out in front of that truck. I mean, and last second, last second.”
As for the truck driver, it appears he was paying close attention. “He had tried to move away from the edge of the road because there was actually a dog on a leash with the family members. He'd (the truck driver) seen the dog, and tried to move more towards the center of the road way or out of that lane and then suddenly, the child actually darted,” said Sgt. Chad Hill with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department.
“The tragedy that occurred yesterday, I hope brings to light to the community the issue we have up north here,” said Silver Lake Town Marshall Craig Hollopeter.
The marshal had already identified some potential pedestrian safety problems in the area. He’d like to see a wider walking birth on a section of the road shoulder that is commonly used by families on foot.
“What we’re hoping is that through the fundraiser that’s occurring with the family right now, once funeral expenses are paid that we can go ahead and use further money to try to build some bridge over there that will keep pedestrians off the edge of the road,” said Hollopeter.
A bank account has been set up at Lake City Bank to accept community donations that will be used to pay funeral expenses.
Logan’s mother died of leukemia in 2010, when the boy was just seven months old. One relative told NewsCenter 16 that at least he and his mother were together again.