Grand jury does not indict officer involved in fatal crash - News, Weather & Sports

Grand jury does not indict officer involved in fatal crash

Sarah Bearden Sarah Bearden

By Katie Bauer email | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – No charges will be filed against an LMPD officer involved in a deadly crash back in May. A Grand jury declined to indict officer James Adams on Tuesday, in the crash that killed 22-year old Sarah Bearden.

Police say she turned left from Hurstbourne Lane onto Headley Hill Road in the path of Adams.

A preliminary police report indicated Bearden may have been impaired by alcohol at the time but it also says Adams was speeding.

A Jefferson County Grand Jury could have indicted Adams on two counts, manslaughter in the second degree and assault in the second degree, but jurors decided no criminal acts were committed.

This man doesn't want his identity known, "It was a horrible night. I mean it was just a nightmare."

What he says he saw back on May 22nd are now mental pictures that will never be erased.

"From a parent's standpoint and having kids, it was something you didn't want to see," says the witness.

What he didn't even realize when he rolled up to the crash was that he knew the victim and her family. He said you couldn't even tell it was 22-year-old Sarah Bearden because her head was so swollen.

He says when he saw the man involved in the accident, he was confused about what was going on, "It doesn't make sense that this guy wasn't helping."

Then he says he heard the off duty narcotics officer on the phone. "He said, 'I was just in an accident, I don't know what to do, I think I should turn my lights on' and that's when he turned the police lights on."

Another witness at the scene asked if anyone called 911 and she says the officer said no.

"Is there something being covered up? All we can do is speculate. Sarah and the officer were the only two at the scene, so they are the only ones that are really going to know what happened," said the witness.

John Robinson, the Bearden family attorney, tells us he believes only two people testified in front of the grand jury, Adams himself, and another officer.

"The Bearden family's lawyer does have name and phone number, but nobody has ever contacted me," said the witness.

This man believes speed played a crucial role, "If that accident happened at the regular speed limit over there, I don't think she would be dead right now."

Officer Adams' attorney Steve Schroering says he was surprised the case was presented to the Grand Jury in the first place.  He says officer Adams is very relieved and his heart goes out to the woman in the accident, but that it is clear there was no criminal conduct on his part.

Adams remains on administrative leave while LMPD conducts an internal investigation.

 (Copyright 2010 WAVE News. All rights reserved.)


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