Elwood man in a hit-and-run fights for his life
INDIANAPOLIS – Family members say an Elwood man is fighting for his life after being hit by a vehicle in an accident on the west side of town late Sunday night.
Police said the victim was working for a security company at around 11:50 p.m. Sunday, regulating traffic after an interruption in the aqueduct in the W. Morris Street and Dukane Court area.
Officials said a lane on W. Morris St. had been closed as crews worked to repair the break. Workers said a vehicle that appeared to be going too fast was approaching the site and despite their efforts to get them to slow down, they did not.
The driver beat a worker whose family identified himself as Joshua Clabaugh, 50, and fled the scene.
The police have not released or arrested descriptions of vehicles, so the family say they will ask anyone with information about the driver or the vehicle to come forward.
“He did not deserve that. He has a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren at home, “said Mike Clabaugh, Joshua’s cousin.” He’s fighting for his life in very bad shape right now. “
Clabaugh said he found out Monday morning what happened when Joshua’s wife turned to his wife. He described the emotions he felt when he found out what was happening as “heartbreaking”.
Clabaugh said Joshua’s injuries were severe and he had an operation on Wednesday to treat a haemorrhage in the brain.
“He’s got a lot of blood in his brain, severe facial trauma is incredible, all of his ribs are broken, a hole in his lungs, his liver is bleeding, his pancreas is bleeding,” said Clabaugh.
A neighbor who lives near where the crews were working to fix the broken water pipe said the impact was so loud he heard it in his bedroom.
“I heard something, a loud noise, and I thought it might have given way and someone might punch through the hole,” said Dennis Weddle. “I looked outside and saw the guy lying in the ditch.”
Weddle said he didn’t understand what anyone was thinking when they left the scene of the accident.
“He had to have been hit pretty hard to make a sound like that,” he said. “One lane was closed, I don’t know why someone should drive through there so quickly.”
Clabaugh said he could understand if it was just an accident, but neither did he understand how someone could have left their cousin, whom he thinks is his brother, on the side of the road fighting for his life.
“Hold on, take responsibility,” he said. “Somebody knows something.”
“You have a conscience. You know what is right and wrong. You know something out there. They know what is right and what is wrong, ”said Clabaugh.
Clabaugh said Joshua is a hardworking family man who adores his wife, children, and grandchildren.
“Loves his country, prankster, loves playing around and having a good time. He’s a great friend. A great brother, ”said Clabaugh.
After an open heart surgery that saw Clabaugh hospitalized, he said Joshua had been there for him the entire time and visited him in the hospital in early 2020.
“He’s a brother to me. I mean, he was there when I needed him most, ”said Clabaugh.
With restrictions and restrictions still in place on hospital visitors due to COVID-19, Clabaugh has not yet been able to physically visit Joshua but said he has an army of people pulling for him.
“There are so many people who say, ‘He’s a fighter, he’s a fighter, he’ll make it.’ That’s all he can do, and now it’s in the hands of the Lord and the doctors, ”said Clabaugh.
Neighbor Dennis Weddle said he saw Joshua try to move after the accident before the ambulance arrived, hoping that was a good sign that his injuries weren’t too serious.
“I didn’t think he was hurt that badly, but now that I know he is, he will certainly be in my prayers,” Weddle said.
Joshua’s wife texted Clabaugh Wednesday morning to tell him there were signs of hope. She told him Joshua could use his finger to try to write words
He said Joshua’s wife told him that Joshua could use his finger to try to write words.
“He has a wonderful family at home and he definitely doesn’t deserve it and most of all his wife didn’t deserve it, they have been together since we were children,” said Clabaugh.
Clabaugh said Joshua had been working the night shift for a while. He understands that it can be dark at night and other factors can come into play, but that hitting someone and leaving is never right.
“At some point that becomes a burden,” he said, “if someone knows something, just say something. It is not worth.”
CBS4 also spoke to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) about work area safety and what they think people should do when approaching a work area.
“You take control of someone’s life when you fly through a work zone if you’re not careful, but you also take control of your own life,” said Mallory Duncan, communications director at INDOT.
Duncan said that this rule of thumb also applies to maintenance zones, which pick up and move at a fluid rate. These are usually located on motorways and federal highways.
“This is not just about our roadside crews, but about all the Hoosiers and all the people who travel across the state. This is something to protect you. We don’t arbitrarily choose a speed limit in a work zone, and the main reason is safety, ”said Duncan.
The IMPD said there had been no arrests in the case until Wednesday. There is also no description of the vehicle allegedly involved in the accident.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.
You can also call the IMPD Hit and Run Office at 317-327-6549.
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