Witness who held crash victim's hand: 'I really wish I would have known her'

Posted at 3:37 PM, Sep 19, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- A woman who comforted an IUPUI student during her last moments after being struck by a school bus Monday hopes her family knows everyone did all they could for her.

Fatima Hassuneh, 18, was crossing a street at an intersection on IUPUI’s campus around 1:30 p.m. Monday when a bus attempting to make a left-hand turn struck her.

School officials said the bus was under contract with Indianapolis Public Schools, but owned by Durham Transportation. Witnesses and IUPUI officials say Hassuneh had the right of way.

Hassuneh was a pre-med student who aspired to become a doctor, according to a post by the IUPUI Muslim Student Association.

“Fatima, an aspiring doctor, was a sophomore in biology and was known for her kind heart and sense of humor,” the Muslim Student Association wrote. “She was a gift among us and has returned to her Lord. She was very active in our community and would often lead interfaith events. May Allah allow her to continue to reap the benefits of those deeds.”

At the time of the crash, Alysa Schultz and her boyfriend were sitting at a red light at the very same intersection. She said that as soon as she saw what happened, her boyfriend started calling 911 while she rushed to check on Hassuneh.

“As I was kind of kneeling there next to her, all she was doing was just holding her hand out, so I just grabbed it and held onto it,” Schultz said. “People were getting mad, saying, ‘Don’t touch her. Don’t move her.’ But at the same time, that one little bit of humanity – just hold on to her hand – that’s probably all she wanted.”

Schultz said she didn’t know Hassuneh – but that her friends and classmates have messaged her since telling her what a wonderful person she was.

“I had a lot of people message me on Facebook saying how awesome of a person she was and how beautiful and smart and driven and how involved she was,” Schultz said. “I really wish I would have known her.”

Schultz, a former IUPUI student herself, said she hopes Hassuneh’s family can take some comfort from all of the efforts made to save her.

“I hope that her family knows that there were six people calling the police, four people running around the corner to grab any police who were nearby,” Shultz said. “Everybody was stopping and blocking off the road so that no one could come near the situation. Everyone at IUPUI was like a family doing everything they possibly could for her, and I really hope that’s comforting to the family.”

An Islamic funeral prayer, a janaza, was planned for Tuesday night for Hassuneh at the Alhuda Foundation in Fishers. As of Tuesday afternoon, police were still investigating the crash.