Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

April 8, 2014

Police officer posts bond in Madison County fatal crash

Woman gives birth to girl; officer charged in accident

By Jack Molitor CNHI News Service
Greensburg Daily News

---- — LAPEL — A fund has been started to assist a woman whose husband was killed in a traffic accident caused when an Edgewood police officer collided with their vehicle.

The woman, Rebecca Sperry, 22, of Pendleton was pregnant when the Sunday accident occurred. She was injured in the crash and flown by helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

She gave birth to their first child, a girl named Autumn Marie, according to a posting at youcaring.com

Sperry’s husband, Jesse, 23, was killed in the wreck. Investigators said the Sperrys’ 1996 Buick Century was struck in the rear by a 2004 GMC Yukon driven by James D. Foutch, 41, who is an Edgewood police officer.

On Monday, Edgewood Police Chief Andrew Ellingwood expressed sympathy for the Sperrys. In a statement, he said, “The Edgewood Police Department would like to send our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims of this tragic situation. We hope for the best and a full recovery for the new mother and baby.”

Madison Copunty Sheriff’s Department investigators said the impact of the crash, which occurred in the 7500 block of Ind. 32 near Lapel, sent the Sperrys’ vehicle into a utility police and brought power lines down on the vehicle.

Foutch was off-duty at the time of the 12:30 p.m. accident, investigators said. Foutch, who has been with the department for 12 years, was charged with driving while intoxicated causing death, a Class B felony. Investigators believe Foutch had prescription pills in his system. He posted a $20,000 bond and was released from the Madison County Jail.

A donation site has been set up at youcaring.com

One posting read: “Jesse and Rebecca were on they way home from church, she was going to be induced that evening to give birth to their first child. Tragically, they were in a horrible car accident.

*An off duty police officer rearended their vehicle, Jesse was killed in the accident and Rebecca was lifelined to St. Vincent and was taken into an emergency c-section. She delivered a beautiful baby girl - Autumn Marie. Rebecca has some injuries from the accident and Autumn was taken to Riley for some specialized treatment.

“This fundraiser is to raise money to cover funeral expenses and current/future medical expenses for Rebecca and Autumn.”

The website accepts donations but people were encouraged to send checks to Edgewood Baptist Church, 3743 Nichol Ave. Anderson, IN 46011, and indicate on the envelope for Rebecca and Autumn Sperry.”

Monday morning, Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he had not received paperwork from the sheriff’s department and complete formal charging information being filed for up to a week.

Foutch serves as a patrol officer working the third shift and as a certified trainer providing in service training for the department, Ellingwood said. Foutch was placed on administrative leave and the Town Council will decide if that leave is paid or unpaid, Ellingwood said.

A passenger in Foutch’s vehicle, Erica Manis, complained of pain and was taken to St. Vincent Anderson for treatment. Manis is Foutch’s girlfriend and mother of his 2-year-old son, Ellingwood said.