Aug 2, 2023 - News

Cyclist dies after being struck by IMPD car

An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department logo on the side of a police car.

An Indianapolis police officer crashed into a cyclist Monday. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

A bicyclist has died after being struck by an Indianapolis police vehicle, and the death is renewing demands for safer streets.

Details: Joseph Stiger, 34, was riding his bike in the 3400 block of East 10th St. when a police officer crashed into him just after 2pm Monday, per police and news reports.

  • Police say the officer swerved to avoid another car turning left at North LaSalle Street. The officer passed on the left, hitting the cyclist, who was riding on the opposite side of the street.
  • Stiger arrived at a hospital in critical condition and died Tuesday.

Why it matters: The death of the cyclist — caused by an Indianapolis-owned vehicle — is reigniting calls for change in a city where cycling and pedestrian deaths have been on the rise.

The intrigue: Beyond the crash, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department stirred anger with its initial description of the incident.

  • IMPD at first said it was "on scene of a cyclist struck" and "detectives believe an IMPD officer was involved in a single-vehicle crash with the bicyclist."

What they're saying: Police noted the officer was responding to a domestic violence call, with emergency lights and sirens on, and cast blame on the driver of the car turning left at LaSalle Street, adding they were looking for the driver.

  • "It's so important that when you see a police car, an ambulance or a firetruck, that you pull to the right side of the roadway," IMPD Maj. Michael Leepper said, per IndyStar.

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