The Journal Gazette
Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:00 am

Mom charged in boy's death involved in pedestrian fatality

Driver had 'right of way' as 72-year-old crossed street


Fort Wayne police are investigating a fatal crash in which a woman charged last year in the death of her 2-year-old son struck a 72-year-old man as he tried to cross the street.

Amber V. Garrett, 27, was driving a 2004 Chrysler 300 north on North Clinton Street on Oct. 9 when she struck Ekrem Nezirevic, who police say walked into traffic from the east side of the street at Coliseum Boulevard.

Nezirevic died from his injuries Oct. 10, the Allen County coroner's office reported.

Investigators at the time said Garrett had the right of way, and Fort Wayne Police Department spokesman Michael Joyner said Wednesday an investigation has not been finished. Police are awaiting tests for alcohol and drugs, but nothing found indicates Garrett was intoxicated, Joyner said in an email.

A crash report indicates pedestrian action as the “primary cause” of the crash.

Garrett was charged in January with two counts of felony neglect in the death of her son, Malakai, in November. She was released after posting bail shortly after she was arrested, according to court records.

Mitchell Vanryn, 28, is charged with murder in Malakai's death.

Doctors who examined the boy said he had injuries consistent with being beaten.

Witnesses to the crash told police Nezirevic stood about 11 a.m. on the southeast corner of the intersection and started to move into traffic, where he was almost struck by a pickup. He continued to walk through the intersection and was struck by Garrett's car, the crash report said.

Garrett told investigators “she had the green light to continue to proceed north on North Clinton Street through East Coliseum Boulevard,” according to the report.

The crash was the 27th fatal crash in Allen County this year.

No charges were filed as of late Wednesday afternoon.

A four-day trial for Garrett on the neglect charges is scheduled to begin Nov. 27 in Allen Superior Court. Vanryn's trial is scheduled to start March 19.

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