The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local News

April 7, 2014

Painkillers believed involved as Foutch placed on administrative leave

Prosecutor: 72-hour hold placed on probable cause affidavit

EDGEWOOD, Ind. — A police officer involved in a deadly two-vehicle accident Sunday has been placed on administrative leave. Investigators believe he was high on hydrocodone at the time of the crash.

James D. Foutch, 41, a 12-year veteran of the Edgewood Police Department, bonded out of Madison County Jail on Monday morning and was notified that he had been placed on administrative leave, according to Edgewood Town Marshal Andrew Ellingwood. 

The career-long, third-shift officer faces a Class B felony charge of operating while intoxicated causing death. Foutch’s police-related equipment, including his gun, badge and department keys have been confiscated, and the Edgewood Town Council will soon decide whether the leave will be paid.

“We’re gathering information of our own that will help us make a recommendation to the council, one way or another,” Ellingwood said. “We hope the decision comes soon, just so we all know.”

Foutch was driving a 2004 GMC Yukon in the 7500 block of West Indiana 32 about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Authorities believe the sport utility vehicle, heading west, struck a 1996 Buick Century, also heading west, from behind, forcing the Buick off the roadway. The force of the impact threw the Buick into a nearby utility pole, snapping the pole in half and bringing power lines down onto the vehicle.

The driver of the Buick, 22-year-old Rebecca Sperry of Pendleton, was nine months pregnant and scheduled to give birth that day. Her passenger and husband, 23-year-old Jesse Sperry, was killed in the accident and pronounced dead at the scene. The couple was on their way home from church services. 

Madison County Coroner Marian Dunnichay said Monday that Sperry’s autopsy would not be done until Tuesday, and the official cause of death would not be available until then.

Rebecca Sperry was airlifted from the scene to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis to be treated for serious injuries. According to a fundraiser website created for Sperry’s family, she gave birth at the hospital to a girl named Autumn Marie. 

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