INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A tragic accident, or the result of bullying? That’s the question in the death of a 13-year-old west side Indianapolis girl hit by a car near a neighborhood park.
A car struck Samantha Henson just before 6:30 Wednesday night in the 1800 block of West Washington Street. Samantha was declared dead Thursday at Riley Hospital for Children. Police called it an accident and said there would be no charges.
“It just appears at this time it is just a tragic, tragic accident,” said Catherine Cummings, an IMPD spokesperson. “It looks like the young girl was … maybe walking backwards, talking with some friends, and stepped into traffic when she was struck.”
But residents say nasty neighbors may have contributed to the incident – asserting it wasn’t friends Samantha was talking to, but bullies.
Chris Bleckel, an area resident, said Samantha was talking to three teen girls. Those teens have a history of harassment, said Clayton McCowan, a long time friend of Samantha’s family.
“They’ve been bullying her ever since day one here. You know, neighborhood girls and such,” said McCowan, who said he went to the emergency room with Samantha’s father after the accident.
McCowan said Samantha was playing basketball in nearby Indianola Park when the trouble started.
“Some girls had told her there was another girl that was going to come down the street here and beat her up,” McCowan said. “And Samantha said she’s going home, and she got scared and she turned around, and she stepped out into traffic.”
She was running home, afraid, McCowan said. Now a memorial to Samanthan sits just off of West Washington Street at the spot where the 13-year-old lost her life.
Police said there is no evidence to prove those accusations.
“Of course if a credible witness comes forward, with credible information, our investigators would look into that,” Cummings said. “But at this time, we don’t have any indication of that.”
The 25-year-old female driver of the vehicle that hit Samantha will not be charged, police said.