5-year-old girl killed in Michigan City hit-and-run, family wants answers

Posted at 8:25 AM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 08:26:14-04

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (WGN) — Police are looking for a suspect in a hit and run that killed a five-year-old girl Tuesday evening.

Delaney Klewer and her sister were crossing Broadway Street when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. First responders administered CPR and drove her to the nearest hospital, however, she quickly succumbed to her injuries.

Delaney was hit by the car about a block from her home just before 6 p.m. Tuesday night. She was with her eight-year-old sister. They had accidentally left their shoes at the park and they were going back to get them.

“She was amazing. She could make anybody smile,” Matthew Klewer, Delaney’s dad, said.

“She was fun-loving. The life of the party,” Gail Biela, Delaney’s mother, said.

“I don’t think anyone else’s family should have to go through what we have to go through,” Klewer said.

Police gave the child CPR at the scene but she later died at the hospital. Police said the only witnesses to the crime were children.

“There’s kids all up and down this street,” Biela said.

While their accounts of what happened are not all the same, police are confident they are looking for a black or gray SUV with a possible spare tire mounted on the back of the vehicle.

“We’re not going to solve this case without the help of the community,” Jeff Loniewski, Michigan City police, said. “Please come forward. Turn yourself in and do the right thing.”

A memorial now stands in the last place Delaney stood. Her friends and family are still digesting what happened to her.

“I saw the cross that’s over there that somebody had left out, a small token you know but it was a token that struck me hard,” Klewer said.

While her family said it is not uncommon for cars to race through this neighborhood despite the park and playground nearby, they find it hard to believe a stranger would hit their little girl and then just drive away.

“How do you do that to a 5-year-old little girl? Any kid?” Klewer said.

While police canvass the neighborhood looking for video of the incident, the family said they pray someone comes forward to clear their conscience and give this family some much needed closure.

“I’m hoping within the next day or two they catch whoever it was but we got a lot of people from out of town here too so this is the crossroads of America so it could be today, it could be tomorrow,” Johnathan Galossinger, Michigan City resident, said.

The family said they want the city to install speed bumps or more stop signs in the area. They want traffic to slow down.

If you have any information contact the Michigan City Police Department. Call Lt. Jeff Loniewski at 219-847-3221 Ext. 1008 or Cpl. Steve Alt at Ext. 1045.

They urged anyone with information on the hit-and-run to call police and for the driver to surrender.

A GoFundMe page was started for the child’s family.