Family says hit-and-run victim loved neighborhood

Danny Mikesell had lived in area for 40 years

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indy man killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday died in the neighborhood he loved, according to friends and family.

Danny Mikesell, 73, was struck around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday as he attempted to cross Washington Street near Traub Avenue in his wheelchair. Witnesses told police a cream-colored vehicle sped out of a nearby business and hit Mikesell as he approached the curb.

The impact of the crash knocked him 10 feet, pinning him between his wheelchair and the street.

After hitting Mikesell, police said the driver, 34-year-old Brandie Thompson, drove off. Thompson was located after a witness reported her license plate number to authorities.

Police said Thompson was driving on a suspended license.

Mikesell was taken to Wishard Hospital, where he later died.

Mikesell's wife, Anna Knight, said he was out cleaning up the neighborhood the night he was struck. After retiring years ago, the neighborhood where he'd lived for 40 years had become his passion.

"He went out and cleaned up lots for a while," Knight said. "He just cleaned up the neighborhood, and I asked him not to go out last night. But he had a bad habit of going out to clean up the neighborhood at 8 or 9 o'clock."

Mikesell's brother, Gerald Mikesell, said his brother was well-liked in the neighborhood. He can't understand why someone would have hit him and just left him injured in the street.

"Doesn't make sense; her leaving him like a dog," Gerald Mikesell said.

Knight said she can't understand it either.

"I'm saying she was drinking or on drugs or something," she said. "Because ain't nobody with a heart could do something like that."

Thompson has a lengthy history with the law, both as a victim and suspect. She faces multiple charges, including failure to stop after an accident causing death and driving on a suspended license.

Thompson was being held at Marion County Jail on a $15,000 bond.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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