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Child killed when car hits her, brother
Shukri Mohamed Ibrahim's bike rests near where she was struck by a car and killed in the 4700 block of Central Avenue. - KELLY WILKINSON / The Star
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Two Somalian children who have been in Indianapolis for a week were hit Tuesday by a car whose driver apparently fell asleep, crossed lanes and struck their bicycle, police said. A 9-year-old girl died, and her 14-year-old brother was critically injured.

The mother was wailing in the street," said Lori Wells, who was at the accident scene a short time after the children were struck.

The accident happened a few doors from the seven-member immigrant family's home, in the 4700 block of Central Avenue. They came to the United States through a church-based program that helps relocate refugees from their war-torn country.

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"We've seen them," said Martha Page, a member of First Meridian Heights Presbyterian Church, which owns the house where the family lives. "They've been out on the porch, waving and smiling as people went by."

Indianapolis metropolitan police said no charges have been filed against Margaret Graves, 42, whose car crossed two lanes of traffic along Central Avenue before striking the children. At some point, police said, she apparently fell asleep.

According to metropolitan police, Shukri Mohamed Ibrahim died at the scene of the accident. She was riding a bicycle with her brother, Hassan Mohamed Ibrahim, who also was struck. He was taken to Methodist Hospital in critical condition.

The children were part of a family who had been brought out of Somalia, which has been in a state of conflict and near-civil war for nearly two decades. Page said several churches cooperated in the program that provides housing and arranges education and medical assistance.

Police said the family -- a mother, father and five children who speak no English -- had moved into the Central Avenue house a week ago. The children had been seen playing at the neighboring School 70 playground, and around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Shukri and Hassan were riding a bicycle on Central Avenue.

Police said the children were in the northbound curb lane of the four-lane street, just north of 47th Street. Officers said Graves was headed southbound on Central with two children in a Chevrolet, when she apparently fell asleep.

The car crossed the center line and the main travel lane on Central, ending up in the northbound curb lane. The bicycle the children were riding was thrown over the sidewalk and into the grass outside the school playground.

Sourc: Indianapolis Star, Mar 28, 2007


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