7-month-old ejected from car in hit-and-run wreck; baby dies

Baby later ID'd as Yeshua Shafford

INDIANAPOLIS - A 7-month-old boy died Wednesday morning after being thrown from a vehicle that was involved in a hit-and-run crash overnight on Indy's northwest side.

The wreck happened just after 11 p.m. Tuesday near West 38th Street and Commercial Drive at the exit off Interstate 65, officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.

IMPD said when officers arrived, they found the 7-month-old boy, later identified as Yeshua Shafford, near a guardrail by a small compact car. The baby and its mother were both taken to Riley Hospital for Children; the baby in serious condition, the mother in good condition.

Detectives said the baby died at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

Also in the car were the father of the baby (driver), a teenage backseat-passenger and a 3-year-old back-seat passenger. Investigators said they believe the baby was in a child safety seat that was found still in the vehicle.

IMPD said the other car involved in the crash was a black Dodge, which, after the crash, was found in a nearby ditch. Witnesses told investigators they saw two men running from the car after the crash. Witnesses also said the driver of the Dodge was recklessly driving at a high rate of speed on East 38th Street approaching I-65 when it hit the compact car, causing the compact car to spin.

So far no arrests have been made, but IMPD detectives said they are following several leads.

"Ultimately we all have a responsibility when we get into these kind of incidences to stop and at least render aid and provide information. That didn't happen in this case for whatever reason. And so that's why it's important for us to take these folks into custody as soon as we can and find out why they didn't stop. This has led to a tremendous tragedy for the family," IMPD Lt. Chris Bailey said.

The family is from Chicago. Police aren't sure if they were visiting someone in Indianapolis or just passing through. 

Police said the child was not properly restrained in his car seat.

"This is a great example of why it's important to make sure our children are fastened securely in the car. However it doesn't take the responsibility off the person who struck this car to stop, render aid and own up to what they were doing prior to and what may have caused this incident," Bailey said.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to report it to police at 317-327-3811 or report information anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477 (TIPS). Tips may also be texted with "INDYCS" to 274637.

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