City refuses to pay woman's medical bills from crash with officer
A woman injured in an accident with an IMPD officer is fighting the city to get her bills paid years after the crash.
The city paid to fix her car, but now refuses to front her medical bills.
Sabrina Kinney says her career as a Certified Nursing Assistant is over. She's moved back to Detroit to start all over again. While the city says it's still investigating details of the crash.
It happened at the intersection 30th and Eagledale on the city's west side.
Kinney, 34, says she stopped at a red light on 30th Street and waited to make a left turn when she was struck.
"Felt like we were being pushed through the light. When he hit us my passenger, who was my 18-year-old sister who was sitting behind me, flew up on top of me," she explained during a phone interview with 13 Investigates.
Her car had been rear-ended. She recalls her front passenger yelling " 'Oh my God. That's a police car!' It was so smoky we really couldn't see," she added.
On night shift duty, IMPD Officer David Butler crashed his cruiser into the back of Kinney's car.
She remembers Butler quickly appearing at her door. He called for an ambulance. She was hurt.
"Mr. Butler was already at the window checking to see if we were okay. He said he was sorry, apologized said he was looking down at his computer and he wasn't paying attention," she told 13 Investigates.
That was July 15, 2009.
According to IMPD crash records obtained by 13 Investigates, the accident reportedly cost the City of Indianapolis. $8,300 for damage to Kinney's car and the marked police cruiser.
Kinney says the city's insurance company paid her $1,500 for the car. There seemed no question about who was at fault.
Months later, though, when she says her attorneys approached the city about her medical bills, the city refused to pay them.
City prosecutor Samantha Dewester won't talk about the accident because of a pending lawsuit. According to the official crash report, a witness said he was standing in his driveway that night and saw Kinney start into the intersection and then suddenly stop.
"Why are they trying to make it seem like it was my fault when I was clearly in the right? He hit me from the back," said Kinney who insists she was waiting at the red light.
In the crash report Butler told investigating officers:
He "saw (Kinney) stopped at the red light..started to slow down and...type on his computer." But he says when the light turned green she "started into the intersection without a turn signal..thought (she) was going to keep straight..and started typing on the computer again" and struck her.
Kinney's case has sat now for four years.
Butler himself is part of the delay. In 2011, he was arrested and charged with robbery and misconduct for shaking down Hispanic motorists on the west side and robbing them of $2,700.
He was convicted back in February and is now serving an 8-year sentence, 3 of those years are to be served behind prison walls.
Kinney says she too is living a restricted life brought on by the actions of the former officer and a city unwilling to accept the responsibility for his actions.
"I don't think it's fair for somebody to do something and not pay the fair consequences behind it," said Kinney.
Kinney's case has been moved to Hamilton County and is now slated for trial next July. We have learned the city is trying to broker a settlement in the case.
As for Butler, he is locked up at the State Prison in Putnamville.