Henry County authorities say the driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed a Greenfield police officer turned herself in Monday night.UPDATE: New information on nightly news reports. Vanderbeck is a nurse. She knew she hit a bicycle but didn't think she seriously injured the person on the bike. She saw two other persons at the scene so decided to drive off. She showed the damage to her view to her husband when she got husband and decided it couldn't have been that bad because her car wasn't badly damaged. She later listened to a new report about Officer Phillips' death and figured out he was the person her car struck. That's when she decided to contact an attorney. She is represented by Steven Litz, an eccentric lawyer who describes himself as The Best Criminal Defense Attorney. He was also just disciplined for carelessly attempting to dispose of old client files.
Police say Sue Anne Vanderbeck, a 61-year-old woman from Indianapolis, surrendered Monday for her role in the crash that ended in the death of 32-year-old Officer Will Phillips.
The Henry County prosecutor says Vanderbeck was driving westbound on US 40 with two young children in her vehicle when she struck Officer Phillips, who was on a training bike ride with two other officers.
The prosecutor says Vanderbeck became distracted by the children in the back seat, and also that she shows great remorse.
Police say Vanderbeck contacted her attorney hours after the accident. The attorney contacted police, who examined her car last Friday.
The prosecutor said the accident was horrendous, but he commended her for reporting it.
Also, the prosecutor says police do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved based on Vanderbeck's statement and her appearance. Blood tests will likely be inadmissible since it was not possible to take samples from Vanderbeck at the time of the crash.
Vanderbeck, who has three children, was released on bond. She was visibly upset as she left the jail and avoided answering reporters' questions.
Some people may also recall Litz' role in helping a New Jersy man secure a controversial adoption of twin infant girls. That adoption was eventually set aside by the Indiana Supreme Court. As the Star's Jon Murray reported at the time, "The case had attracted controversy nearly from the start." "Melinger, then 58 and an elementary teacher in Union City, N.J., sparked concerns when he arrived at Methodist Hospital in April 2005 with a live bird up his sleeve. And he planned to drive the premature infants back to his home just outside New York City, prompting the involvement of DCS." Noted retired IU School of Law Professor Henry Karlson said a fraud had been perpetrated on the court to procure the adoption in the first instance. According to Murray, Litz agreed his "understanding of some facts in the Melinger case shifted throughout the adoption proceedings."