INDIANAPOLIS — (WTHR) — It's been almost a week since a car loaded with Franklin Central high school students plunged into a retention pond.
A 16-year-old girl was killed. Her mother and thousands of people want guardrails installed. The city said they aren't justified. But a Shelby County company is offering to install them for free.
Ella Magyar's memorial of flowers, candles and keepsakes keeps growing. So is the movement to prevent another tragic death. Close to 11,000 people have signed Elijah Morris’s petition telling DPW to put up guardrails.
“I’m just hoping for officials to see, and the DPW to see there are people behind this, people who want this protected," Ella’s friend and classmate said.
Ella was a passenger in a car that veered off the pavement and clipped two trees before plunging into a retention pond. She was killed, another passenger was critically injured. The driver and a front seat passenger swam to safety.
Ella’s mom, Tina Hicks, said her mission is to see guardrails installed to prevent additional tragedies.
After examining the roadway, warning signs and speed limit, DPW engineers concluded that guardrails aren’t justified. The circumstances fall short of federal regulations.
“We want to install the guardrails to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said family friend and co-owner of C-Tech Corp, Jeff Beaty.
The Boggstown company designs and installs them. Ella’s mom is a former employee, so this is personal.
“We’ve got our employees who have offered to work for free and of course we are going to put it up for free,” he said. “We want to put it up for free.”
Beaty is confident he can work out an agreement with the city and guardrails will go up.
Morris is confident, too.
“The city has to eventually listen to the people.” he said.