Family of Warsaw boy killed in crosswalk hoping to change state law

NOW: Family of Warsaw boy killed in crosswalk hoping to change state law

WARSAW, Ind. ---  Peggy Cook says she’s grandmother of seven; six on earth and one in heaven.

She lost one of her grandchildren earlier this year. Gideon Cook was struck by 24-year-old Raven Loubert in June while crossing the road after summer school. He was on his way to his sisters who were waiting on the other end of the crosswalk.

“He was at the school crosswalk, lights were flashing, north and south traffic was stopped, and he was hit and killed anyway,” Cook said. “He was trying to cross the street, traffic was stopped, and you don’t dart out in front of traffic that was stopped.”

A Grand Jury ruled that Loubert would face no charges for the death of Gideon in October.

“We were in shock; they wanted to call this an accident. In my mind, Gideon was doing all the right things.”

The family now wants to change the state law so future drivers are held accountable at crosswalks. She’s already written and sent out letters to local lawmakers asking for help.

Loubert was initially charged with reckless homicide, but in a press release from October, the Kosciusko County prosecutor said there was no evidence of recklessness and that no further details could be shared.

“Due to law requiring confidentiality of Grand Jury proceedings, no information can be disclosed of the presentation details to the Grand Jury and the reasons for the Grand Jury’s decision,” the press release reads.

Indiana has the 12th highest rate for pedestrian deaths in the country. A 2018 report from the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017 and 2016.

Peggy just wants some type of accountability to be added to the state statute protecting pedestrians. She talked about the possibilities outside of jail time such as misdemeanor charges, license suspension, or mandated community service.

“I think it’s dangerous to not have consequences for killing somebody at a crosswalk. Gideon’s Law. I want him to be remembered.”

The Cook family is asking for the public’s help in getting the attention of local lawmakers. You can help by sending an email to Senator Ryan Mishler, who represents part of Kosciusko County.

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