Welcome back Officer Carey
One of Carmel’s most popular sidewalk statues, depicting a friendly police officer on the Monon Greenway at Main Street, is back in place today after being repaired of severe damages caused during a hit-and-run accident on November 26, 2016. The statue, titled “Oh, It’s You, Welcome,” serves as both a greeting to users of the Monon Trail and as a reminder of Officer Frank Carey, who is the only Carmel police officer killed in the line of duty. He died during a shoot-out in 1900.
On Monday afternoon, workers with the Carmel Street Department placed the statue back in its original position at the edge of the Monon Trail at Main Street. Typically, the Street Department handles such repairs in-house, but in this case, the statue had to be sent to the J Seward Foundation, creators of the statue for more extensive repairs. The city will pass the $10,338 in repair costs on to the person who damaged the statue.
The driver of the vehicle was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident. The City Attorney’s office has also filed a claim with the driver’s insurance company and is seeking restitution through the criminal case filed in Hamilton County Superior Court 6 to cover the costs of the repair. The City of Carmel follows a policy to pursue the offending party and his/her insurance for the full cost of repairing the damage to public property so that local taxpayers do not have to bear those costs. In 2016, more than $100,000 was recovered by filing such claims.
“It is important that we protect the public’s assets and when damages are done like this, the cost of repairing the public infrastructure should be that of the person responsible for the damage,” said Mayor Jim Brainard.
According to police, the accident occurred on Saturday, November 26, at 4:09 a.m. when the driver of a gray Ford Edge was traveling eastbound on Main Street and attempted to turn left (north) onto 2nd Ave N.W. The vehicle collided with the police statue. The driver backed up and continued to drive eastbound Main Street to 1st Ave. N.W., then turned north and parked his vehicle in the parking garage of Sophia Square. This information was discovered and confirmed through video surveillance and an eyewitness to the accident.