IMPD awaits blood test results from driver involved in crash that killed two EMS workers

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Investigators are viewing surveillance videos and awaiting blood test results before deciding whether to charge a 21-year-old Florida woman for the Saturday morning crash that killed two EMS crew members in downtown Indianapolis.

Visitation was held for Tim McCormick, 24, an EMT, at Crown Hill Cemetery. His partner, Paramedic Cody Medley, 22, also died of injuries sustained in the crash.

Jade Hammer told police she was driving home at 3:37 a.m. Saturday, when her car collided with the ambulance, which was traveling southbound on Senate Avenue.

Hammer said she was focused on her audio GPS unit in her car as she was westbound on St. Clair Street.

IMPD reports Hammer ran a flashing red light and struck the ambulance broadside.

“I saw a white female standing near the ambulance. The female was crying and holding her arms around her chest. She stated, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t believe I was in this accident,'” wrote IMPD Officer Michael McCalip. “I noticed a smell of alcoholic beverage about her breath.”

Hammer, who recently moved to Indianapolis and works at a downtown restaurant, told police she was served two weak drinks at the Pearl Street bar before the crash.

“She consumed one and one half of these drinks and they were light,” read the police report.

Hammer was read her rights and agreed to a blood draw at Wishard Memorial Hospital two hours after the crash.

“The law says they have up to three hours but obviously the longer it takes, the less reliable that is as an indicator of what the levels were when she drove,” said DUI attorney John Tompkins. “She could’ve been higher or lower when she drove.”

Hammer was not arrested Saturday morning, indicating that perhaps her blood alcohol level did not reach .08 percent to result in a drunk driving charge.  However, Tompkins said she could still face driving while intoxicated charges.

“It can either be alcohol or a controlled substance or drugs or a mixture of any of those three together.”

Preliminary test results could be available to prosecutors Tuesday.

“The results of those tests are going to be a clear indicator of what they choose to go forward on.”

Surveillance cameras perched on the roof of the IU Education and Research Institute were pointed at the intersection of Senate Avenue and St. Clair Street, site of the crash, and farther down the block where the ambulance came to rest in the rear of a parked Ford Explorer.

Gary Thompson of REI, manager of the building, told Fox59 News that his staff provided investigators with video images of the intersection captured by those cameras.

Tompkins said the speed of the ambulance, not just the blood alcohol tests, would be key in determining what criminal charges Hammer could face.

If the ambulance was speeding beyond the 30 mph speed limit on Senate Avenue, Tompkins said Hammer can argue that her collision would have merely spun out the emergency vehicle but its excessive speed, combined with the rear left wheel of the ambulance gaining traction as it drove over the hood of Hammer’s car, could have create more momentum to propel the ambulance partway down the black and into the parked SUV.

It was that secondary collision that caused the fatal injuries to McCormick and Medley.

Mayor Greg Ballard has postponed his State of the City address, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday.  He will deliver the speech on March 8.

Gov. Mike Pence has ordered flags to fly at half-staff in memory of the crew.

One of those flags flies from a building top just north of the accident scene as friends and comrades continue to visit a memorial at the spot where the sliding ambulance came to a rest.

14 comments

  • Carl Picman

    Bishard didn't have that problem when he killed that biker, what was his blood alcohol anyway? Different standards for police I guess.

  • JA

    There needs to be justice NOW. Why was she not given a breathalizor at the scene? Why is she free right now when 2 young, innocent lives are gone? I’m just heartbroken and disappointed…

  • Guest

    She probably was not given a pbt because they are not as strong in court as a blood draw and the ambiguity in the State law about having to take a test after a serious bodily injury/fatal crash.

  • cluxb

    I agree. Why didnt IMPD give her a breathalizer right there. Plus she admitted to drinking so she was obviously under the influence. I hope she gets charged with the max for what she did!!! How does she know her drinks were “weak” drinks?! Justice for cody and tim!!!

  • jhudd

    Did anyone actually read the article. She was under the legal limit of .08 at the scene of the accident. Maybe it was just an accident. Why are we so quick to judge her?? How, do you think she feels about now. does anyone have any compassion anymore?

    "Hammer was not arrested Saturday morning, indicating that perhaps her blood alcohol level did not reach .08 percent to result in a drunk driving charge. However, Tompkins said she could still face driving while intoxicated charges."

  • clubx

    No there is NO compassion for someone who willing admitted to drinking and driving then killing two people. Whether she was “legally” drunk or not she was still under the influence and alcohol affects everyone different. She obviously wasnt operating in her right state of mind or she would have never would have had two drinks and drive. BTW everyone says they only have two drinks. She should get the max offense and I hope she gets murder charges.

  • Diane

    Has anyone ever driven through that intersection at night? It is an accident waiting to happen. St. Clair drivers have a flashing red light with no indication that Senate only has a flashing yellow light. Yes, you need to stop, but there is no sign that on coming traffic has the right away. This is a dangerous intersection after hours.

  • james

    This should have nothing to do with the sexuality of one of the victims, It shouldn’t have anything to do with anyone’s race either. there’s several dangerous intersections all over town, that doesn’t give anyone one the right to make rolling stops, OR speed if you have the right away, No one should drink and drive period. No matter how many drinks you’ve had. These guys are gone, and she’s still here, and nothing can change that.

    It sounds like vehicular manslaughter may be in order if she wasn’t “legally drunk.” Probably one charge for each victim. I think she’s looking at 20-30, that’s a big window, but since she accidentally killed two EMS’s, Indiana could push for the maximum of say…40 years. She may serve 20-25. maybe more… And that will be the last of her until she’s about..45-50 years old..she will have spent most of her life in prison.

  • TOOMANYPOLICE

    WHEN DID JUST GETTING KILLED MAKE YOU A HERO? JOIN THE MILITARY,,YOUR A HERO! JOIN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT…YOUR A HERO! JOIN THE POLICE FORCE…BANG..YOUR A HERO! I REMEMBER WHEN YOU ACTUALLY HAD TO DO SOMETHING HEROIC TO BE A HERO DIE IN THE TWIN TOWERS..YOUR A HERO..SHEEESH "A HERO IS THE GUY IN THE FOXHOLE WHOS DUMB ASS JUMPS ON THE GRENADE" THATS WHAT THEY TOLD US WHEN I WAS IN THE MILITARY BEFORE JUST JOINING MADE YOU A HERO!!! SAD THESE BOYS DIED…DID THEY DIE HEROIC….NO!!! WERE THEY HEROS… NO!!!! DO THEY DESERVE A SPECIAL DAY..NO! A SPECIAL MEDAL…NO! A STREET NAMED IN THEIR HONOR…NO!!! HOW ABOUT A TICKET FOR SPEEDING THATS WHAT THEY REALLY NEED, BECAUSE WHAT THEY DO KNOW IS THEY WHERE SPEEDING FOR NO REASON…NO CALLS,,JUST SPEEDING,,THEY HAD A HEROS SEND OFF LIKE THEY RESCUED 200 PRESCHOOL KIDS AND THEY DID NOTHING!

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