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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Friends pushing to remove tree blocking stop sign after deadly crash

Katie Jo Maynus, 18, was killed in a crash after she went past a stop sign and was hit by a semi.

MARION, Ind. — A group of students in Marion made their voices heard after losing a classmate.

Katie Jo Maynus, 18, was a graduate of Oak Hill High School. She was killed in a crash after she went past a stop sign at the intersection of 4th Street and Butler and was hit by a semi.

Her friends blame a tree that was blocking the stop sign.

"It is dangerous because the trees you can barely see any cars when you cross by until you are right up on them," said Emily Henry, one of Maynus' friends.

Credit: WTHR
Friends of Katie Jo Maynus are pushing for the removal of a tree that blocked a stop sign, after she was killed in a crash with a semi.

Some of the branches were cut back after the deadly accident and a "Stop Ahead" sign was put up. Even with those changes, the stop sign is still hard to see and Maynus' friends, family and even one of her teachers want the tree to come down.

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"I’ve lost kids to drunk driving accidents and cancer and suicide and stupid accidents but this is the first one that is 100 percent preventable and I am not going to rest until it is taken care of," said teacher Danielle Hewitt.

"We do not want any other family to go through what we have gone through and are going through and will continue to go through for the rest of our lives," said Maynus' grandmother, Arvida Newcomer.

The problem is, the trees are on private property. The mayor directed the students to the homeowner to sign off on the removal. If they do, the students would need to raise the money to pay for the tree removal.