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Jury returns guilty verdict for man accused in Bartholomew County bus stop crash that killed 16-year-old girl

Shiam Sunder Shankara Subramanian was accused of leaving the scene of an crash resulting in death and passing school bus when arm signal is extended causing death.

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. — A jury deliberated about six hours Thursday before returning a guilty verdict in the case of a man accused of going around a school bus and hitting and killing a Columbus student.

Shankara Subramanian allegedly went around a stopped bus, hitting and killng 16-year-old Lily Streeval on Aug. 30, 2021. Streeval was a junior at Columbus East High School.

Subramanian was convicted on two counts. The judge revoked the man's bond.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 27.

After the girl was hit, a witness told 13News that Subramanian drove off. That witness told 13News he chased after Subramanian and told him he had hit a child. The witness then said Subramanian again tried to drive off, but got stuck in a yard while trying to turn around.

Police said Subramanian's white Honda Civic had a shattered windshield, a dented hood and other damage.  According to court documents, he told officers he had seen flashing lights and hit something on his way to work.

Subramanian decided not to testify in his defense, and the judge denied the defense's request for a mistrial.

Streeval’s mother, father and other family members attended the four-day trial, reliving the tragedy just over a year later.

Here is what both sides claimed Thursday in court ahead of jury deliberation:


During closing arguments, prosecutors showed video of students on the school bus at the time of the incident, in which a thud can be heard. The video shows the students reacting and looking out windows, then realizing Streeval had been hit. The video then shows the white Honda Civic driving away.

Prosecutors believe Shankara Subramanian was driving fast on his way to work, disregarded the bus's flashing lights and extended stop arm.

According to prosecutors, Shankara Subramanian drove three to four miles after the crash and passed 18 places where he could have stopped. Prosecutors said Shankara Subramanian drove away until he couldn't after getting stuck in a yard and was confronted by a witness who chased him down.

Prosecutors claim Shankara Subramanian did not stop as soon as reasonably and safely possible, citing the tires still spinning when his car was stuck in a yard.

Photos presented by the prosecutors showed the white Honda Civic had a shattered windshield with a hole in it, as well as glass inside the car. Another photo showed Shankara Subramanian brushing glass out of his hair while at the police station.


The defense told the jury Shankara Subramanian is a native of India and has been in the United States for four years on a work visa. 

According to the defense, Shankara Subramanian was on his way to work as an engineer when the crash happened, but he kept on driving because he didn't know what happened. The defense say Subramanian did not know he passed a school bus and thought he might have hit a deer.

Defense attorneys called this a tragedy, an unforeseeable and unavoidable accident.

Credit: Bartholomew County Sheriff's Office
Shiam Sunder Shankara Subramanian

The defense claims Shankara Subramanian was going home to call somebody about the damage and when an officer arrived where the car was stuck, he was cooperative and didn't try to get away.

An accident reconstruction expert testified that from his perspective, it appeared the school bus's stop arm was only halfway out at the time of the crash and said it would have been impossible for Shankara Subramanian to stop the vehicle due to human perception response time.

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