Police: Woman accused of deadly hit & run in Steuben County tried to cover up evidence

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(Photo supplied/Steuben County Jail)

Court documents show that a woman who hit two boys with her car last weekend initially tried to cover up the evidence.

WANE TV reports that 45-year-old Ohio woman Hope Richmond admitted to hitting two boys with her car last Saturday night in Steuben County. One of the boys, 13-year-old Wayden Bennett, later died. The other, 12-year-old Ryly Cummings, has been released from the hospital.

Police believe Richmond was headed east on County Road 275 North when she hit the boys. Afterward, she drove away.

Cummings said he and Bennett had been playing baseball at Lake James Christian Camp. As they were walking back, they got hit.

He was taken to the hospital, where he got staples in his head to close a wound. Bennett was taken to a hospital in Fort Wayne, but he died a few days later.

Investigators were able to tie Richmond’s car model to the scene. After receiving numerous tips, they found Richmond.

Her car had been damaged recently. She first told police that she had hit a deer. However, when they asked her again about the damage, she reportedly told them, “It was dark, and I did not see them.”

According to court documents, she said she had picked up food and felt her car hit something, but assumed it was a trash can. It was only after hearing about the boys that she realized what she had done.

She then tried to get rid of the evidence. She attempted to buff out the dents in her car and wipe away the blood. She also tried to remove a damaged mirror. She said she “feared what would happen to her” if she reported the accident.

Richmond was initially taken to the Steuben County Jail. She is facing charges including leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or catastrophic injury, and obstruction of justice.

Police found no evidence that she was impaired or distracted.

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