INDIANAPOLIS - The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has asked that a blood sample from a woman involved in a crash that killed two Indianapolis EMTs be sent to a state lab for an extensive toxicology screen.
Police said Jade Hammer, 21, told officers she had consumed one and a half drinks before crashing into an ambulance near downtown early Saturday morning, killing Pvt. Timothy McCormick and Spc. Cody Medley.
On Sunday, a top official involved with the case told RTV6 that preliminary blood tests were "borderline" and "not a slam dunk" for being intoxicated at the time of the crash. Police said there was a delay of a couple hours in drawing blood after the crash.
Prosecutors said Tuesday they do have blood-alcohol content results but will not release that information. They have requested the Indiana Forensic and Health Sciences Laboratories to do the toxicology screen, but it could take weeks for results to be available.
Dr. Scott Kriger, with the lab, said this particular blood sample will move ahead in line.
"We do get requests occasionally from the prosecutors on high priority cases," Kriger said. "And we acknowledge that. And we'll put that at the head of the queue, yes."
The state lab gets about 6,000 cases a year, running thousands more tests. At the lab, the blood will be tested for the presence of any of 12 different drugs.
Joel Hand, an attorney and former prosecutor, said having a blood alcohol content below the legal limit of .08 percent doesn't necessarily exempt someone from charges after a fatal crash.
"What the jury or the judge will ultimately have to focus on is what evidence is there of impairment, and that can be shown through many different things," Hand said.
Hand said according to an Indiana statute, a person with a BAC of .05 can be charged if there's other evidence of impairment.
"Did she go through the flashing red light as a result of her being impaired? Or did she go through the red light because she didn't see it or wasn't familiar with the street that she was on?" Hand asked.
The prosecutor's office met Tuesday afternoon with the police department's fatal accident crash team to try and piece together the events leading up to the crash.
"Right now, we're just in the investigative process," said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. "We're getting a lot of information from a number of sources. And as we do in all cases, we'll sit down and take a look at them and see where we end up."
The traffic light at the intersection where the crash occurred was flashing red for Hammer and flashing yellow for the ambulance, police said.
"Oh my god. I can't believe this is happening. I can't believe I was in this accident," police said Hammer told officers as she cried at the scene.
Hammer was released pending further investigation.
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