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Driver accused of causing deadly chain-reaction crash has history of crashes, court docs show

Keystone 52 Crash.jpg
Posted at 7:54 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 06:30:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis woman facing several charges after being accused of causing a deadly multi-vehicle accident earlier this month has a history of driving issues, according to court documents released Friday.

Kelli Anderson, 55, is charged with reckless homicide and six counts of criminal recklessness in connection with the deadly crash on June 9, according to a press release from the prosecutor's office. Anderson was taken into custody and booked into the Marion County Jail Friday, according to IMPD and online jail records.

“When drivers fail to the meet their responsibilities on the road, it can result in devastating consequences,” Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a release sent out with the charging information. “Because of this incident, four young children have lost their mother.”
The preliminary investigation showed six vehicles were stopped at a light at N. Keystone Avenue and E. 52nd Street when Anderson’s white Lincoln struck another vehicle, causing a chain-reaction crash.

The 28-year-old driver of the second vehicle, Kiana Burns, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition where she died two days later.

Anderson told detectives that she was in the right-hand lane to turn and tried to avoid hitting another vehicle that had cut in front of her but had misjudge – and veered off, according to court documents.

Actual data from the Anderson’s vehicle revealed she was traveling at nearly 69 miles per hour when she struck the first vehicle and had not touched the brakes, according to court documents. The speed limit on Keystone Avenue where the crash occurred is 35 miles per hour.

During her questioning, Anderson told detectives she was on daily medications for “severe, life-threatening allergies and epilepsy.” When investigators questioned her about suffering from allergy symptoms prior to the crash she told them she couldn’t remember stating; “Honestly, I blacked out, ‘cause I don’t remember what happened.”

During the same questioning detectives said Anderson appeared to have “glassy eyes” and she had trouble completing field sobriety tests.

Previous Fatal Crash

While working the crash scene, detectives determined that Anderson had been involved in a different fatal crash exactly three weeks earlier, according to the probable cause.

Court documents showed that as a result of that crash on May 19, Anderson was treated at the hospital for “internal injuries”. During her treatment for that crash, she told investigators that she takes prescription medication for seizures and “may have blacked out” because she did not remember the crash.

The exact details of the May 19 crash were not revealed in the court documents and Anderson is not currently facing any charges for that incident.

The blood draws from both crashes on June 9 and May 19 were sent to the Indiana State Department of Toxicology for analysis and the results remain pending.

Medical records obtained by a subpoena described some of Anderson’s treatment and conversation with her doctors following the May 19 crash. Court documents say detectives learned that Anderson had told medical personnel that she was diagnosed with seizures in February of 2018 after suffering “a couple of grand mal seizures” and that she had been suffering from increasing episodes since January.

In her discharge records from May 20, 2022, doctors noted: “Neurology explained to the patient that she is at high risk of harm to herself and/or others and that she should not drive for six months until cleared by neurologist. Also, no working at heights, take showers instead of tub baths, no swimming, no operating heavy machinery or lifting close to open flames. Patient verbalized understanding.”

Detectives say Anderson’s driving status through the Indiana BMV was still valid at the time of both crashes.

History of Crashes

After digging further into Anderson’s driving history, detectives also determined she had been involved in at least five other at-fault crashes since August of 2019.

The details, from court documents, of those crashes are below:

Aug. 3, 2019

  • Police say Anderson was driving a black Saturn on North Meridian Street when she veered off the road and into a ditch, flipping her vehicle. She told officers she was “epileptic and possibly had a seizure” because she didn’t know what happened.

Feb. 20, 2020

  • Police say Anderson was driving a silver GMC Acadia when struck a BMW at the intersection of 79th Street and Dean Road. A witness told detectives the BMW had stopped at the stop sign before turning at the intersection, but they did not see Anderson’s vehicle stop before the crash. The driver was treated at the hospital for minor pains.

Mar 9, 2021

  • Police say Anderson was driving a silver GMC Acadia on Fall Creek Parkway N. near E. 39th Street when she struck the rear of another vehicle. The second driver told police they were “in motion” when Anderson, who was driving too fast, struck the rear of his truck. Anderson told detectives the Sierra had “stopped and backed up” but later changed her story that the vehicles were both “stopped too close.”

Sept. 2, 2021

  • Police say Anderson was driving a silver GMC Acadia on Allisonville Road when she struck the rear of another vehicle, causing that vehicle to spin. After the initial impact, Anderson’s Acadia veered off the roadway and struck a fire hydrant. Anderson told police at the scene she did not know she was involved in an accident or that she had hit anyone before going off the road.

May 2, 2022

  • Police say Anderson was driving a black GMC Acadia in the 3700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Street when she veered off the road and struck a light pole. Anderson told the officer at the scene that another vehicle had stopped abruptly in front of her and that she had “turned the car left” and ran off the side of the road to avoid a collision.

WRTV Real-Time Editor Michelle Kaufman contributed to this report.