It's no accident 18-year-old Madie Hart was struck by car, police say

Criminal investigation into her death underway
Posted at 11:21 AM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 15:56:56-04

CINCINNATI -- Police say they don't believe it was an accident that a driver struck 18-year-old Madie Hart in front of the Aronoff Center early Sunday morning.

Hart, a member of the Hart Pharmacy family, died from her injuries, and Cincinnati police say they are conducting a criminal investigation.

Hart was struck in the 600 block of Walnut Street about 2 a.m., according to police. Lt. Steve Saunders said he couldn't confirm the circumstances leading up to the incident. Police wouldn’t say if they have a suspect.

Hart’s family and friends are wondering why this happened. 

"We understand that there is currently an investigation concerning Madie's death. We have no comment on that matter," Steve and Jeannine Hart said in a written statement. "Our focus at this time is on celebrating Madie's life and on grieving her loss."

One of her Madie's high school teachers, Allison Hinkel, called her death “devastating.”

Madie graduated from St. Ursula Academy in 2016 and was in her first year at Ohio State University, according to the school. 

Hinkel, a theater teacher, said she knew Madie from each of her four years at St. Ursula.

“The only thing you can think of Madie is that she was the most fun-loving, down-to-earth, real kid that you would be happy to meet,” Hinkel told WCPO.

Madie’s death has been hard on her teachers and friends at school, Hinkel said.

“It’s a good thing that we have each other and it’s been a really nice moment for everyone to come together even in the worst of circumstances,” Hinkel said.

The school plans to remember Madie at its spring theater production this weekend.

Madie was an organ donor, according to her father, Steve Hart. Her organs have saved three lives.

"God wants our Madie, but the prayers for a miracle will go to other families whose loved one will be saved by Madie's unselfish gift of her young organs," Hart said on the Madie's Miracle Workers GoFundMe page.

The Harts wrote that they hoped Madie would inspire others to choose to be organ donors.

"Long after these difficult days, Madie will continue to have a positive impact on the world," the Harts wrote.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than $35,000 for care, funeral expenses and "any other financial burdens brought on by this tragedy."