Suit: Indianapolis police officer was speeding before pregnant woman killed near highway ramp

Attorneys for Marcus Lewis Jr. allege that Officer Jonathan Henderson was driving 33 mph over the speed limit moments before he hit 23-year-old Ashlynn Lisby on May 6, 2020, killing her, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Posted: Jun 9, 2021 2:25 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis police officer was speeding and made an illegal lane change just before his patrol car struck and killed a pregnant woman last year near a highway ramp, the woman’s boyfriend alleges in a federal lawsuit.

Attorneys for Marcus Lewis Jr. allege that Officer Jonathan Henderson was driving 33 mph over the speed limit moments before he hit 23-year-old Ashlynn Lisby on May 6, 2020, killing her, The Indianapolis Star reported.

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“If a civilian drove this recklessly and killed two people, that person would likely face criminal charges,” attorney Stephen Wagner said in a news release. “That person would also lose his or her job if driving a vehicle for an employer at the time of the accident.”

The lawsuit, filed last month U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, alleges Henderson was never disciplined by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for the incident that killed Lisby.

Lisby was more than eight months pregnant with Lewis’ child, according to the complaint, which said the child was born alive through an emergency cesarean section but died moments later.

The suit seeks compensatory damages for Lewis for the death of his child, and punitive damages against Henderson.

The city’s Office of Corporation Counsel said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Lisby was struck as she and Lewis were walking on the shoulder of a street just south of an Interstate 465 ramp on Indianapolis’ southwest side, headed to their motel room, the suit states.

Her death and the fatal police shooting of two Black men in three separate incidents hours apart prompted protests against Indianapolis police.

Henderson, a 22-year veteran of the force at the time, was in uniform and driving in a police vehicle and on his way to roll call when he struck Lisby.

Lewis’ lawyers say black box data obtained from the crash shows Henderson accelerated to 78 mph — 33 mph above the posted speed limit — and made an illegal lane shift over a solid white line as he positioned his vehicle into the right turn lane.

The suit alleges that Henderson checked his rearview mirror as he prepared to turn onto I-465 and his car drifted over the right fog line when he struck Lisby, whose body left an elliptical dent in the hood of his car and cracked his windshield.

Lewis’ lawyers allege that IMPD attempted to cover up the incident by preparing a crash report that lists the primary cause of the accident as the “pedestrian’s action.”

That crash report states that none of Henderson’s actions played a contributing role in the accident, they allege.

“The accident report does not mention that Henderson was speeding, made an illegal lane shift, and was driving partially on the shoulder ... when he struck Ashlynn,” according to the complaint.

IMPD said after the accident that Henderson called for backup, rendered first aid to Lisby, and collaborated with investigators, submitting to a blood draw to rule out impaired driving as a factor.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1112735

Reported Deaths: 17652
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1450832237
Lake721711247
Allen66684881
Hamilton50838487
St. Joseph49493645
Elkhart40079546
Vanderburgh34553496
Tippecanoe30654274
Johnson27559465
Hendricks26181383
Porter25556386
Madison21002452
Clark20146278
Vigo18966309
LaPorte17115261
Delaware16666300
Howard16666313
Monroe16556220
Kosciusko14216167
Hancock13061185
Bartholomew12894190
Warrick12152190
Wayne12036268
Floyd11968226
Grant11901242
Morgan10360192
Boone9815122
Noble9234122
Henry9142167
Marshall9062147
Dearborn8923100
Dubois8815139
Shelby8210129
Cass8134127
Lawrence8018185
DeKalb7761108
Jackson764093
Huntington7601113
Gibson7074118
Montgomery7052123
Harrison6923100
Knox6896115
Steuben665889
Miami6563111
Whitley655360
Putnam641584
Clinton624579
Wabash6182111
Jasper610892
Jefferson5796104
Ripley555893
Adams540581
Daviess5062117
Scott488280
Wells4814104
White475669
Greene4680100
Clay462862
Decatur4597110
Jennings448867
Fayette448396
LaGrange425990
Posey407544
Randolph3908107
Washington389856
Fountain373464
Fulton362474
Spencer360747
Starke353574
Owen351277
Sullivan347554
Orange329172
Jay328850
Rush306832
Carroll294239
Franklin290844
Perry288553
Vermillion282758
Tipton250066
Parke249630
Pike247244
Blackford221244
Pulaski208559
Newton181752
Brown176150
Crawford168829
Benton166517
Martin151820
Switzerland147212
Warren135316
Union121016
Ohio92113
Unassigned0592

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1708292

Reported Deaths: 26587
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1785651827
Cuyahoga1669492640
Hamilton1132851528
Montgomery801921395
Summit715401199
Lucas627081020
Butler56598805
Stark535121171
Lorain41895642
Warren35785412
Mahoning35635771
Lake32124495
Clermont31120363
Trumbull27130616
Delaware27046182
Licking26528336
Medina25825351
Fairfield24511287
Greene24265372
Clark21980387
Portage21117281
Richland20947340
Wood20015246
Allen18870320
Miami17196348
Columbiana16795332
Muskingum16644206
Wayne15664306
Tuscarawas14329360
Marion13250194
Ashtabula12618232
Erie12602198
Scioto12416184
Pickaway12208153
Ross11639225
Hancock11448173
Geauga10863175
Lawrence10617172
Belmont10416234
Huron9765158
Jefferson9601227
Union954075
Sandusky9272166
Seneca8853157
Knox8761170
Washington8675158
Darke8365180
Athens835396
Ashland7956149
Auglaize7897117
Shelby7459133
Defiance7331115
Crawford7233150
Fulton7167112
Brown7135115
Logan6975108
Guernsey691484
Mercer689998
Highland6718119
Clinton6493106
Madison648089
Williams645199
Preble6243140
Putnam6220120
Jackson578896
Champaign578487
Perry564979
Coshocton5623104
Ottawa561999
Morrow515264
Fayette492170
Hardin485999
Gallia469678
Van Wert465693
Pike463476
Adams4569109
Henry432378
Hocking407193
Holmes3989140
Wyandot374973
Carroll363978
Paulding323851
Meigs304959
Monroe235561
Noble219647
Morgan215238
Harrison210953
Vinton186937
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