February 3, 2011 – Louisville, KY – A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a Louisville police officer after a 22-year-old woman was killed in a car accident, Courier-Journal.com has reported.
The lawsuit, filed January 27th by the woman’s family, claims the officer was driving “negligently and recklessly.” It alleges James Adams, a Louisville Metro detective, broke the law and violated procedures when he and Sarah Bearden collided at Headley Hill Road and North Hurstbourne Parkway in May as he was driving nearly 40 mph over the speed limit.
Adams has received a 30-day suspension, which was handed down a few weeks ago. He was off duty when the accident occurred and, according to documents related to his suspension, violated department’s policy regarding speeding. The Louisville police officer apparently was driving faster than 80 mph in a 45 mph speed zone.
A grand jury refused to indict the officer for manslaughter in November, so the case went to the LMPD to see if Adams violated departmental policies.
While police chief, Robert White, said Adams’ suspension was appropriate, Bearden had a blood alcohol content of .131, which is above .08, Kentucky’s threshold for driving under the influence.
Bearden’s family is questioning the accuracy of her blood alcohol level and contends that it was Adams’ speeding, not alcohol, that killed her.
The LMPD has declined to comment on the pending litigation.
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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