Officer Turns Himself In, Faces 7 Felonies In Fatal Crash
Police Chief: No One Suspected He Was Drunk
9:13 AM, Aug 11, 2010
An Indianapolis police officer accused of being drunk when he struck and killed a motorcyclist was charged with seven felony counts on Wednesday.Officer David Bisard, who police said had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent after the crash, turned himself in on charges of operating while under the influence causing death, a Class B felony, operating while under the influence causing death, a Class C felony, reckless homicide, a Class C felony and four counts of operating while under the influence causing serious injury, Class C felonies.
Indianapolis Metro Police Chief Paul Ciesielski said Wednesday that no one at the scene of a fatal crash involving three motorcycles Friday morning suspected that the officer had been drinking.Eric Wells, 30, was killed when Bisard, who was on duty and responding to a call with his lights and sirens on, said he was unable to avoid striking two motorcycles at 56th Street and Brendon Way South Drive.
More: David Bisard Probable Cause
According to the probable cause affidavit, Bisard was driving between 65 mph and 70 mph in a 40 mph zone when he struck the bikes.Witnesses said three motorcycles were stopped at a red light and couldn't get out of the way in time. Kurt Weekly, 44, and Mary Mills, 47, were both seriously injured.
Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said he consulted with the victims' families before filing charges.
"It's hard enough on them to have to be going through what they're going through with having just buried one family member. But, obviously, they took this news (that the officer may have been drunk) very, very hard," he said.Mayor Greg Ballard expressed disdain for what he called an inexcusable failure in leadership and supervision that resulted in the crash, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported."(It's a) failure of leadership and peers feeling each other on a human level," he said. "I've been leading people for over 30 years and I'm confident that someone knew of the human weakness that was present, yet failed to act or inform others."Ballard also apologized on behalf of the city to the families involved in the crash. He said he talked to police supervisors Wednesday morning, telling them that someone should have known Bisard was drunk and/or had a drinking problem.Authorities said Bisard had taken his cruiser to the sheriff's garage Friday morning for preventative maintenance and that it was there for a half-hour.After that, investigators said, Bisard drove his children to a soccer camp and then came to work.Bisard, a nine-year veteran of the department, was not seriously injured in the crash.Bisard's police equipment was taken from him Tuesday night, Rinehart reported."This was a shock to us. I can tell you that this is being treated like any other person. The investigation is all above board," said Indianapolis Metro Police Chief Paul Ciesielski.Bisard is scheduled to have an initial hearing at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
Watch 6News and refresh this page for updates.