STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday night they have made an arrest in a hit-and-run crash Saturday night that sent two boys to the hospital, one of whom has now died, according to police.
Hope A. Richmond, 45, of Montpelier, OH was taken into custody by Sheriff’s detectives at a residence near the intersection of SR 827 and CR 400 N south of Fremont just before 5:30 on Monday night.
Police say they were following up on a tip received from a “good citizen of Steuben County” who reported seeing a vehicle possibly involved in the incident parked at the residence.
Detectives made contact with Richmond at the residence. Damage to the vehicle appeared to be consistent with the crash. Richmond also placed herself and her vehicle in the area of the crash, which happened in the 1500 block of West CR 275 N in rural Pleasant Township, near Lake James around 8:55 p.m. Saturday.
Richmond was booked into the Steuben County Jail on one count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, a level 4 felony, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury.
She remains held without bond pending an initial court appearance.
A search warrant was also obtained to seize Richmond’s silver 2012 Jeep Liberty as evidence as the investigation continues.
Police initially determined an “unknown vehicle” was traveling eastbound on CR 275 N and hit two boys as they were walking along the road. The driver involved in the crash drove away from the scene before first responders arrived.
Deputies on the scene found the boys near the road with “significant injuries,” according to the release.
Ryly Cumings, 12, was taken to a hospital with a head laceration and has since been released, police said. Wayden Bennett, 13, of rural Angola was initially taken to to the same hospital, but then was flown to a hospital in Fort Wayne for further treatment.
Wayden passed away Monday from his injuries.
Monday afternoon, police had narrowed down a description of the suspect vehicle. Police said they were looking for a silver 2008 – 2012 Jeep Liberty with passenger-side damage, including the side mirror.
A reference photo provided by police shows a part of the side mirror circled in red where the damage most likely is.
According to officials, they found a piece of the mirror at the scene, but said that the mirror may still be attached to the vehicle.
Chief Deputy Mike Meeks said before the arrest that this incident will take a toll on the families, the community, and law enforcement.
“You have two children who are walking down the street, walking down the road, on the way home not doing anything wrong and they get struck,” Chief Deputy Meeks said. “To make matters worse, the person responsible, for whatever reason and at this time we don’t know, decides not to stay and not to identify themselves and tell us their side of the story. Hopefully that person thinks better of it and comes forward.”
Anyone with additional information on the incident is asked to contact the sheriff’s office tip line at 260-668-4646 or Steuben County Crime Stoppers at 260-668-STOP.
You are able to provide tips anonymously.