IMPD merit board votes to fire officer involved in fatal crash one year ago

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Scene from fatal crash on September 24, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An IMPD officer who was suspended nearly a year ago after police said he struck and killed a pedestrian has now been fired.

The police merit board met Monday night and voted to fire Officer Bernardo Zavalza.

The accident that led to his suspension and eventual firing occurred on September 24, 2015 along the 4400 block of Southport road.

Zavalza was off-duty and driving an IMPD vehicle when a pedestrian was killed on East Southport Road near I-65.

Zavalza had alcohol in his system, but tests showed his blood alcohol content was .029, below Indiana’s legal limit of .08. A separate toxicology screening found no evidence of other intoxicants, Marion County Prosecutory Terry Curry said.

Curry said his office concluded charges against Zavalza weren’t warranted.

Last year, former IMPD Chief Rick Hite recommended Zavalza’s firing.

Zavalza was placed on administrative leave after the crash and his police powers were suspended.

He was a seven-year veteran of the department.