Within about two hours Monday afternoon (Feb. 7), two men died of injuries in Richmond. One was struck by a 15-passenger van, and one was found shot in a vehicle.

Van accident

At 4 p.m., Richmond Police Department’s Traffic Division assisted second-shift patrol officers with a fatal accident in the 800 block of Mendelson Drive.

In a news release shared Tuesday morning, Lt. Donnie Benedict said that James D. Miller of Richmond was struck by a 15-passenger van.

Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home in Richmond posted a pending obituary for Jimmy Miller on Tuesday night, noting the son of June and the late Galen Miller was 60 years old and was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. Additional survivors include sister Becky (Ghlee) Jewison, brother Mick (Barbara) Miller, nieces and nephews, and cousins.  Funeral arrangements and a complete obituary are to be published later.

Benedict said the van that struck Miller was being driven by an employee of Benchmark Human Services.

Benchmark’s Richmond campus at 800 Mendelson Drive offers residential services, day services, job development and vocational rehabilitation for people with disabilities.

The driver was not injured in the accident, the release said.

RPD’s Traffic Investigation Team followed fatal accident protocol, Benedict said. The driver’s blood and urine were screened at Reid Health, and no illegal substances or alcohol were found.

Benedict said investigators also determined speed was not a contributing factor in the accident.

An investigation was still underway Tuesday.

Benedict said RPD expresses “our most sincere sympathy and condolences to the family of Mr. Miller.”

Wayne County’s Special Olympics notified its social media followers about Miller’s death on Tuesday morning, noting he was an athlete with the organization, and asked them to keep his family in their thoughts and prayers as they navigate through the tragedy.

Stegall-Berheide-Orr has created an online guestbook for Miller’s family.

The van is registered to A.W. Holdings in Fort Wayne, where Benchmark’s corporate headquarters are located.

In addition to Richmond and Fort Wayne, Benchmark’s Indiana locations also include Connersville, Fort Wayne, Hobart, Indianapolis, Marion, South Bend and Columbus. It provides services in 15 additional states.


Shortly before 6:15 p.m., RPD patrol officers responded to a shooting in the 200 block of South 23rd Street.  Officers found Erik Michael Hendricks, 32, of Richmond deceased in a vehicle.

With assistance from Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, two other occupants of the vehicle were located a couple blocks away, said Capt. Curt Leverton. They described a verbal argument in the vehicle before a gun was introduced.

RPD investigators processed the scene, collected evidence, and interviewed witnesses.

Police blocked off each end of South 23rd  between South B and Reeveston Road on Monday night as the investigation continued, with a constant flash of colored lights in the dark.

In a news release sent at 12 a.m. Tuesday, Leverton said no arrests had been made and the investigation was continuing.

Wayne County coroner’s office and Richmond Fire Department and its medics assisted at the scene.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.