Parents plead for son's hit & run killer to be caught

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

WEST HARRISON, IN (FOX19) - A grief-stricken mom and dad recounted the horrific tragedy of watching a truck hit their son and then keep driving as though nothing had happened.

The parents made a passionate plea for viewers to help find their son's killer.

"Please just stop! There's a truck! He had plenty of time, I mean, I know that in my heart, I saw it," said Beth Carpenter, who watched in horror as a truck struck and killed the second-youngest of her five children, her 3-year-old son Jack.

"I'm going to try and say this without losing it," Clifton Carpenter said. "Our son Jack was killed today by a hit and run driver."

Clifton and Beth Carpenter bravely speak words they can barely believe themselves.

"We're out here to try and help find this person please, anything," they both said, fighting back tears.

"If anybody knows anything or heard of anything, the smallest thing could help, we just really want to catch the guy that did this," Beth Carpenter said.

They held-up a photo of their little boy.

"Sweet, sweet, innocent little boy," Beth said. "And the guy didn't even hit his brakes or slow down or even attempt to make any effort to swerve or anything."

They were visiting their grandmother's house on Dearborn Road when the worst happened around 1:30 p.m. They were just about to get in the car when Beth said Jack and his baby sister Allison, who is 2 years old, turned to go back in the house.

"I thought they went inside," Beth Carpenter said. "Obviously, I think they went around the house and were playing and chasing each other and then all of the sudden I saw him (Jack) by the road, and I didn't wanna like, there were no cars coming at the time, and I didn't wanna go and like panic them to run across the road."

Carpenter said she saw the blue truck approaching. Police think it is a 2000 pick-up truck, potentially a Chevy Silverado, with an Indiana license plate.

"It was just around the corner and they were right there and I was running trying to catch them before the truck came and then I finally said 'Jack and Allison, please just stop! There's a truck!', and they both stopped and all of the sudden he started going out in the road and the truck, if he would have stopped, he had plenty of time," said Beth.

But the truck did not stop.

"I thought, he's gotta stop, and he just never did, he just kept going," Beth Carpenter said. "And there was not even a brake, not one brake light, not one stop, it was like driving like. 'Was he speeding?' He was going very fast. I don't think he was paying attention to anything."

Detective Shane McHenry, who also has a 3-year-old child, said this was a rough day for everyone working this case.

"It's always tougher when you have a child the scene and you got Fire and EMS Personnel and Police," McHenry said. "It's tough to do your job when unfortunately you come up on something like that."

"And I can't even, I'm in shock and it's a surreal dream, I can't even, it's a parent's worst nightmare and I was right there," Beth said.

Police believe the truck has damage to the front end. If you think you have any information or think you might know who the owner of that truck is, please call the Dearborn County Sheriff's Department at 812-537-3431.

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