ANDERSON — The landlord of a former tenant, who is now accused of causing a deadly accident while on painkillers, said there was no indication drugs were being abused by the man leasing the home.
Investigators have said that the accused driver, Edgewood police office James D. Foutch, may have been impaired by the use of hydrocodone, a painkiller. He is charged with operating while intoxicated causing death, a Class B felony.
Robert Smith, owner of a home in the 1900 block of Rosewood Drive, Anderson, has sued his former tenants, Foutch and Foutch's girlfriend, Erica Manis, for about $3,300 in back rent. The case is in Madison Circuit Court 5.
Foutch, 41, is accused of causing a fatal accident Sunday in which a father, whose wife was expecting a child, was killed. Foutch was driving an SUV in the 7500 block of West Indiana 32 that afternoon with Manis, 24, as his passenger, police said. The SUV rear-ended a Buick sedan driven by 22-year-old Rebecca Sperry. The force of the impact drove the Buick off the roadway and into a utility pole, disintegrating the vehicle.
Sperry's 23-year-old husband, Jesse, was killed. Madison County Coroner Marian Dunnichay said Jesse Sperry was dead at the scene due to multiple massive head, chest and internal injuries. The couple were on their way home to Noblesville from church in Edgewood, and the mother was scheduled to give birth to their first child that night.
Rebecca Sperry was airlifted from the scene by medical helicopter to St. Vincent Indianapolis, where she gave birth to a daughter, Autumn Marie, by emergency C-section. According to Sperry's father, John Keefe, the mother and baby are still recovering at St. Vincent and Riley Hospital for Children, respectively, and their conditions are improving.
Last August, landlord Robert Smith began eviction proceedings against Foutch and Manis.