girl killed by hit and run driver

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 16:21 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A few hours after his five-year old daughter was killed trying to cross a street in her Michigan City neighborhood, Matthew Klewer sat down where she was hit and broke down talking to her in spirit.
He and the girl's mother, Gail Biela, on Wednesday publicly appealed for the fleeing driver to come forward and anyone with knowledge of who struck her to contact the police.
''I don't understand how you can snuff out a life like that and just not stop,'' said Klewer.
Delaney Klewer was not breathing when taken about 6 p.m. Tuesday by ambulance to the hospital where she was pronounced dead, said Buddy Kasinger, a paramedic with LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service.
She and her eight-year old sister, Sara, were heading back to retrieve the flip flops they left at a park two blocks from their home when Delaney was hit in the 300 block of Broadway St. by what police described as a westbound black or dark gray SUV.
The suspected vehicle possibly had a spare tire mounted to the back end, according to police.
Sara said she was standing off the edge of the street when Delaney stepped onto the pavement with a vehicle approaching.
''I yelled for Delaney. I was like Delaney, Delaney get out of the road,'' said Sara, who added the vehicle was traveling fast.
According to residents, there's a problem with speeding vehicles in a neighorhood often with alot of children playing either in the park or out in the street.
The girl was hit in front of the home of Jason and Asa Barishman, who don't let their eight year old twin son and daughter and three-year old daughter cross the street by themselves to go to the park.
''This is seems to be the speedway or the drag or something,'' Mrs. Barishman said.
''It's a big problem on this street. The cars are flying down here,'' said Mr. Barishman.
Christina McCord said her six-year old son, Brett, was best friends with Delaney now a former classmate at Joy Elementary School.
He learned about her death the next morning watching the news on TV.
''He ran upstairs, slammed the door and started crying, said McCord just as numb over something so tragic and sudden.
McCord said her son had a crush on Delaney, who she got to know dropping off and picking up her son at school.
''She would walk up to see me and talk to me and giggle and laugh. She was a happy little girl. She would say I love your son,'' McCord said.
Mr. Klewer lives in Valparaiso and when informed about the collision made the 20 mile drive to the hospital in the dump truck he drove home from work.
Four hours later, he sat down in the middle of the street where his daughter was struck and broke down in conversation with her.
''She was amazing. She could make you laugh and it didn't matter how bad you were feeling she would just be able to make you laugh. She was a very beautiful girl,'' said Mr. Klewer.
Despite the flashers on his dump truck blinking along the roadside during his spiritual visit with his daughter, many drivers were still traveling by ''at accelerated speeds that you wouldn't believe.''
The street is governed by a posted 20 mile per hour speed limit.
''I just don't understand how people could do that. It's a play zone for children,'' Klewer said.
Gail said she was walking to her parents house across from hers when Sara and other kids ran up to her with the horrific news.
''It's just a nightmare,'' she said.
Long Beach Police officer Jason Yagelski happened to be close by when he heard the dispatch and being first to arrive tried resuscitating the girl.
Yagelski after a sleepless night said ''no officer wants to have a call like that. Hopefully, they can find out who did this.''
Anyone with information is urged to contact Lt. Jeff Loniewski at 219-874-3221 Ext. 1008 or Cpl. Steve Alt at Ext. 1045.