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Truck driver released in Whiting hit-and-run

A makeshift memorial has been started corner Euclid Avenue Indianapolis Boulevard Whiting. | Michelle L. Quinn~for Sun-Times Media

A makeshift memorial has been started at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Indianapolis Boulevard in Whiting. | Michelle L. Quinn~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 19, 2014 2:19PM



WHITING — A driver suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run accident was released by the Indiana State Police as detectives continued to examine video footage Thursday.

State police detectives from the Lowell Post obtained video footage from local businesses and are hoping it will shed light on what happened to Angel Villafuerte, the 12-year-old boy who was killed in the accident Wednesday afternoon. The driver of a semitrailer suspected of being involved has since been questioned and released with no charges filed, according to Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. Trent Smith.

The truck is still impounded, however, as inspectors with the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division complete their work, Smith said in a release.

At Nathan Hale Elementary School, a man wearing a green and white Whiting Schools shirt who refused to identify himself, said the school would not comment on the boy’s death.

Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura said Thursday he is deeply saddened by the accident and that his heart goes out to the family.

“I stayed up last night thinking about this, and you wonder what you would do if it were your child. It makes you want to cry,” Stahura said.

Stahura said a project the city has scheduled with the Indiana Department of Transportation should slow traffic in the area. That section of Indianapolis Boulevard is set to be widened and will include parking lanes and turn lanes.

As it stands, two stoplights are within 600 feet of each other: one at 119th Street and one at Community Court. As well, the city employs crossing guards that are stationed at both lights before and after school because of heavy traffic on Indianapolis Boulevard.

“We made the decision for crossing guards in that area because of a similar accident that happened 12 or 13 years ago,” Stahura said.

Stahura said he expects the accident will be a topic of discussion for residents and encourages ideas and solutions to the traffic issues in that area.

Angel’s brother, Michael Calzada, 16, who was with Angel when he was hit, said Wednesday night his brother was walking ahead of him and that he called to him to wait, so the younger boy did not walk into traffic. He said his brother was sucked off the curb by the force of the speeding truck.

Evan Dozier, who lives about a half a block from the accident scene, said he watches traffic on that stretch of Indianapolis Boulevard and wonders why there aren’t more accidents because of speed.

“It’s supposed to be 30 mph, but you see semis going 50, 60 mph all the time,” Dozier said. “Either they need to make the signs bigger or the numbers brighter, but people go too fast down this street.”



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