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Friends, family of fatal Indiana crash victim petitions officials for change

By Anna Azallion,


A petition with thousands of signatures is asking for street lights to be added to a portion of US-50 in Greendale. It's in response to a fatal crash that killed a 19-year-old last month.

"When he walked into the house or walked into a room he just lit it up," said Erin Clark.

Clark's nephew, Lee Thomas, was driving on US-50 when his car broke down on the road. While he attempted to push from behind as a passenger steered, he and his car were hit from behind by another driver. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Clark remembers Thomas as someone who wanted everyone to feel loved.

"I mean there's no words to really describe when somebody so young and in the prime of their life and something so innocent as running out of gas and trying to push his car leads to his death. It's just — it's insane," Clark said.

Family and friends are now hoping his death will spark change. They created a petition asking officials to install streetlights, which had more than 5,300 signatures Friday.

"There's always going to be accidents, but I think if there was better lighting there that night then this could've been avoided," Clark said.

The Indiana Department of Transportation said it has been talking with the City of Greendale about adding streetlights. The City would need to apply for a permit with INDOT for the project and figure out how to pay for it.

"They have to have funding — adequate funding for the project. Who would pay for the power, right, to have those rights and to run those lights," said Don Connor, the public relations director for the Southeast district of INDOT.

He said as of Friday the city hadn't applied for any permits yet, but INDOT is working closely with Greendale on this.

Clark said she understands these kinds of projects can take a while, but knowing it's being discussed means a lot.

"If his death can lead to some good in the world then it won't be completely in vain," said Clark.

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