Louisville Officer Escapes Indictment in Fatal Crash

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December 10, 2010 – Louisville KY – On November 23, a grand jury in Jefferson County opted not to indict a Louisville police officer for second-degree assault and manslaughter in connection with a fatal accident, the Courier-Journal.com has reported.

The jury didn’t think there was sufficient evidence for an indictment of Officer James Adams in the death of 22-year-old Sarah Bearden, who was killed in a car accident in May.

Christopher Hutchinson, an assistant commonwealth attorney, said 9 of the 12 members of the grand jury had to vote in the affirmative to secure an indictment. He refused to discuss the evidence presented or any testimony.

Bearden’s family did not make any official comment to reporters.

The fatal car accident occurred on May 22, shortly before midnight, at Headley Hill Road and Hurstbourne Parkway close to E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. Bearden was driving a 1995 Volvo and was trying to turn left onto Headley from north Hurtsbourne. As she was turning, Adams struck the passenger side of her Volvo 850. He had been traveling southbound in a Ford Edge.

An initial police report stated that Adams, who was off duty at the time, was speeding. The report does not state how fast he was traveling. The report also stated that Bearden could have been intoxicated and that she did not yield the right of way.

Adams was transported to University Hospital and was treated for leg and back injuries. Bearden passed away while receiving treatment at University Hospital on May 24.

Adams has been on administrative duty since the crash took place, pending an internal investigation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2009 Kentucky Crash Statistics, there were 791 fatalities as a result of traffic accidents in Kentucky.

As a service to our readers, we will occasionally publish blogs about serious or fatal traffic accidents in our region. We do this to raise awareness of the types of conditions and factors that commonly lead to severe injuries or death as a result of Kentucky vehicle accidents.

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