Community helps after serious Madison Co. crash

(Provided Photo/ Madison County Jail)

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – A 9-month pregnant woman was injured and her husband killed in a serious crash in Madison County on Sunday. An off-duty police officer was arrested for the crash.

The accident happened at around 12:21 p.m. Sunday in the 7500 block of West State Road 32.

Investigators say off-duty Edgewood Police officer James D. Foutch, 41, of Anderson rear-ended a 1996 blue Buick Century. The impact of the crash forced the Buick into a utility pole. The force from the vehicle snapped the utility pole in half and brought power lines down onto the vehicle.

A male passenger, Jesse Sperry, in the Buick was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Buick, Rebecca Sperry, who is nine months pregnant, was taken to St. Vincent  Hospital via medical helicopter. Officials say Sperry had serious injuries.

Foutch was not injured in the crash. Officials say Foutch was arrested and booked into the Madison County Detention Center for operating while intoxicated causing death. He bonded out this morning.

24-Hour News 8’s news gathering partner The Herald Bulletin reports police say Foutch was possibly under the influence of prescription medication at the time of the crash. Foutch bonded out Monday morning.

Rebecca had an emergency C-section Sunday giving birth to her daughter, Autumn, who unfortunately is starting her life without her father, Jesse.

The story has tugged at people’s heart strings around the country, especially for the woman who was first on the scene of the crash.

“You can’t get the scene out of your mind. You just can’t. I couldn’t get it out of my mind to go to bed last night, I just kept re-living it,” said Dawn Hiatt. “I couldn’t believe anybody in the car was alive. It was horrible.”

Friends say the Sperrys were on their way home from church. Rebecca was behind the wheel and her husband Jesse was in the passenger seat.

“He was thrown over on top of her,” said Hiatt as she described what she saw Sunday afternoon.

Hiatt lives across from the crash site and ran outside to help, but the downed power lines next to the car made it too dangerous.

“You’re helpless, completely helpless and so were they. Just standing there, watching it,” she said.

“It’s heartbreaking news to hear that someone’s died and that an officer from the Edgewood Police Department was involved in that,” said Andy Ellingwood, Town Marshal with Edgewood Police Department.

Ellingwood said Foutch is a 12-year veteran of the department.

While they piece together exactly what happened, those close to the Sperry’s are doing their best to help. Donations are being collected on a website as well as at their church.

“I think the whole town’s going to be in support of that family and the needs that they’re going to have,” said Ellingwood.

Hiatt, meanwhile, is trying to put the crash out of her mind, but it’s not easy with unfortunate reminders scattered outside her home.

Foutch is on administrative leave. Edgewood Police will investigate if he violated any department policies.

As for the Sperry’s, friends say Rebecca is getting better. Her daughter Autumn is at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Friends say both of them are going to be OK.

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