Prosecutor explains decision not to charge driver in fatal ambulance crash

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A 21-year-old Florida woman will not face criminal charges for the February 16th crash that killed two members of an Indianapolis EMS crew.

Cody Medley and Tim McCormick died when the ambulance McCormick was driving was struck broadside by a car driven by IUPUI student Jade Hammer at 3:37 a.m. at the intersection of St. Clair Street and Senate Avenue downtown.

The collision sent the ambulance into a slide that came to an abrupt halt one third of the way down the block into vehicles parked along southbound Senate Avenue.

“It all begins with nothing more than running a red light,” said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry. “That is not criminal recklessness under Indiana law.”

Neither is it drunk driving, said Curry, even though Hammer admitted having a couple drinks at a downtown bar before running the red light.

“The blood alcohol results were at .038 percent,” said Curry. “The legal threshold, as you know, is .08 percent, so, her blood alcohol wasn’t even half way to the threshold.”

Investigators said Hammer was shocked and remorseful at the scene. She cooperated by giving statements and submitting to a blood draw at Wishard Memorial Hospital.

“(She was) acknowledging that she had consumed some alcohol prior to the accident and that she was trying to follow a GPS on her phone,” said Curry, paraphrasing Hammer’s statement to police. “Otherwise she was completely distraught and appropriate in her responses.”

After the crash, Hammer returned to her Florida home.

The coed had been a student at IUPUI since the first of the year.

“She is incredibly relieved that a thorough investigation was completed and the prosecutor believed that this was the only appropriate way to go forward,” said John Tompkins, Hammer’s defense attorney. “She ran a red light and that was her contribution to these tragic events.”

Hammer faces a traffic citation.

“Anyone involved in a fatal accident endures a deep emotional impact,” said Tompkins, “They have to live with that incident for the rest of their lives.

“Indianapolis does not hold great memories for her at this point. She’s got a loving family in Florida. She’s going to stay there.”

After the prosecutor’s decision was announced, Indianapolis EMS Director Dr. Charles Miramonti issued a statement that read, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to not only the families and loved ones of our beloved Tim and Cody, but also to Jade Hammer and her family.”

Curry said investigators determined both drivers were exceeding the 30 mile-per-hour speed limits on the intersecting streets.

“The accident reconstruction showed that her vehicle was going between 35 to 40 miles per hour. The ambulance was going 45 to 50 miles per hour.”

The prosecutor said the excessive speed of the ambulance would have been a complicating factor in determining whether it was the initial impact at St. Clair and Senate or the collision with the parked vehicle 200 feet south killed the ambulance crew.

“Certainly it continued to go forward and cooling with vehicles down the street clearly would have been a function of the speed of the ambulance,” he said.

22 comments

  • guest

    The medics were speeding in a non emergency situation and the woman blew a red light, both are recipes for disaster.

  • Marie

    WOW! Alcohol or not she ran a red light. It is mighty funny how now all of a sudden the ambulance was speeding. I do not believe a word of it. These two gentlemen have lost their lives and she is not held accountable at all. Well money does talk someone was paid off for her not to be prosecuted. If it had been a person of another race they would have been under the jail.

  • Guest

    WOW!!! Driving reckless causing death does NOT have a punishment?????? I am furious and I didn't even know the two gentlement who lost their lives. She ended 2 innocent lives and I am extremely disappointed. She, drank (whether or not it was under the legal limit, she still drank and got behind the wheel) she ran a red light, was speeding and was paying more attention to her GPS. What more do you need??? She maybe remorseful but it doesn't cover up the end result. I believe the Marion County Prosecuter has let the family and friends of those gentlemen down. RIP Cody and Tim

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      She was also messing about with her cell phone by her own admission.

      So it was more than "just" running a red light.

      Curry is a weakling. I'm sorry I voted for his azz,

      • Tyrone shoe laces

        Wait until you see how he bargains out those two thugs that went on the crime spree last week. Curry is a pathetic ambulance chaser with political ambitions. Terrible prosecutor.

    • cjmo2662

      Exactly! The woman in that incident was extremely drunk; over 2x the legal limit. I do feel sorry for the families of the ambulance drivers, and even though she was well below the speed limit, she admitted to being distracted by her cell phone & she did run a red light. Even though they may have been speeding, which contributed to the accident, she should be held accountable for her part in the accident, even if their speed and the fact that they weren't using seatbelts may have been a contributing factor.

  • Jennifer

    I can't believe the prosecutor is trying to put the blame on the dead EMTs. I would say something but it isn't appropriate

  • William

    45-50 mph…..in a 30, That may be close to or at a reckless driving charge. Plus a ran red light. Not a good combination.

  • Brian

    I, too, am stunned that no charges are being brought by Curry. And, I will not vote for him again.
    This whole thing smells funny, someone from the press ought to do some investigative journalism as to this case. Today I am hearing she blew a .03 but a few days ago I sworn I read that some offical said that her blood/alcohol was near .08, I thought I heard the term "boardline". At the very minimum, show owes the city of Indianapolis $72,419 for a new ambulance since she blew the red light and ruined one of our 14 good ones.

  • Jerry

    You are all hypocrites! Everyone has driven over the speed limit, or looked at they're phone or had a drink or two and driven home. If this accident (and that's why it's called an ACCIDENT) was one that you were involved in and you were the only one left alive, you would be remorseful and you would want the same realistic (not black and white) approach that has been given this situation! It is tragic, but there doesn't have to be someone to blame all of the time.

  • joe

    Backward ass laws for another state screw over 2 members of the community who usually have to deal with the after marth of reckless drivers, how in the name of god is speeding through a red light drunk and running into an ambulance NOT criminal.

    2 people are dead because of this, these are not random pedestrians but EMT's
    I blame the state.

  • test

    The second moment you’re posting an article such as these on adjustable piano bench end up being prepare for the compliments for the reason that this one particularly rocks

  • Godel Fishbreath

    Also it seems that it is not sure if the first crash with the ladies car or the later crash with the parked vehicles that resulted from the first crash + the speed that they were going at was the cause of death. There is evidence, not here, that they were not wearing seatbelts.

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