PENDLETON, Ind. - A Pendleton woman and her baby daughter are safe at home just weeks after officials say an Edgewood police officer slammed into their car while under the influence, killing her husband.
At only 22, Rebecca Sperry is a new mother and also a widow. She gave birth to her daughter Autumn just days before she buried her husband Jesse.
"By the time the EMTs got me out, he was already gone. I just remember how special it was that the Lord put him in my arms. It meant a lot to me that I could spend that last moment with him," Sperry said.
The crash happened on April 6. Rebecca and Jesse were on their way home from church when their car was struck by off-duty Edgewood Police Department Officer James Foutch.
Jesse died at the scene and Foutch was arrested on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Foutch faces a formal charge of reckless homicide. Investigators believe Foutch was under the influence of prescription drugs.
The violent crash forced doctors to try to quickly save Rebecca and her unborn daughter.
"Someone said, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ and I said, ‘Just pray,’ and I don't remember anything else," Sperry said.
After days in different hospitals, Sperry was finally able to see and hold her daughter last week. They are both now at home with family and must face the reality of what has happened.
"There's going to be rough days ahead, but with the Lord, we'll make it through," Sperry’s mother, Lisa Keefe, said.
Rebecca and Jesse were high-school sweethearts and were married only two years. Sperry believes their union produced a wonderful gift from such an awful and needless tragedy. She said she even forgives Foutch.
"I do forgive him completely and I hope for the day that I can talk to him face to face," Sperry said.
Sperry said that one day, Autumn will learn how her father lived and how he died -- on a rural road, driving home from church.
Foutch remains suspended without pay from the Edgewood Police Department. He is free on bond awaiting his trial.
Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @chrisproffitt
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