Sunman Rural Fire Department
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - No criminal charges will be filed in a crash that killed two Indianapolis EMTs earlier this month.
Former Sunman firefighter Cody Medley, 22, and Tim McCormick, 24, each suffered fatal injuries when their ambulance was involved in a crash on February 16 in Indianapolis. The driver of the car that hit the ambulance had run a red light.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday that the other driver, Jade Hammer, 21, had a blood alcohol content of .038, which is below Indiana’s legal driving limit of .08. A blood test showed no drugs in her system.
“This was clearly a tragic accident, and we again extend our sympathies to the families and friends of Cody Medley and Tim McCormick,” said Prosecutor Terry Curry said. “However, we do not believe that the circumstances of the accident rise to the level of a crime.”
The intersection where the crash happened - Senate Avenue and St. Clair Street – was a 30 MPH zone. Accident reconstruction analysis determined the speed of the vehicle driven by Hammer was in the range of 35 to 40 MPH and the ambulance’s speed was in the range of 45 to 50 MPH. The paramedics were not on an emergency run, but were returning from a completed run.
Curry noted that Hammer running the red light did not constitute recklessness. According to the prosecutor, failure to obey a traffic signal device is a Class C infraction. By Indiana law, criminal recklessness requires “conduct in plain, conscious, and unjustifiable disregard of harm that might result and the disregard involves a substantial deviation from acceptable standards of conduct.”
Regarding Hammer’s failure to stop at the light, Curry said in construing such law the Indiana Supreme Court has held proof that an accident arose out of the lack of attention of the driver of a vehicle or from an error of judgment on his or her part will not support a charge of reckless homicide. As recently as 2009, the state Supreme Court has held that failure to stop at a red light due to inadvertence or an error of judgment, without more, does not constitute recklessness as a matter of law, the prosecutor said.