Clark Co. deputy charged in wreck - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clark Co. deputy charged in wreck

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.  (WDRB Fox 41) -- A grand jury indicted a Clark County, Ind., sheriff's deputy for a high-speed crash that left a man seriously injured last summer.

Deputy Shane Abbott is charged with criminal recklessness.  Abbott pleaded not guilty before a judge in Clark Circuit Court in Jeffersonville on Thursday.  He later was released from the Clark County Jail on his own recognizance.

He's accused of driving his patrol car too fast on a non-emergency "check on the welfare of a person" call west of Sellersburg.

Abbott collided with a vehicle driven by Daniel Schoenfelder, at the intersection of State Road 60 and St. Joe Road East about 5:30 a.m. July 30.

Schoenfelder suffered a broken neck.

Schoenfelder's attorney, Rick Fox, said his client continues to recover from his injuries.  Schoenfelder has notified Clark County of his intent to sue for damages, Fox said.

Sources told Fox 41 News that Deputy Abbott's lights and siren were not activated, and that experts determined he was driving 97 miles an hour when the crash occurred. 

"This isn't anything where any criminal intent was involved, where he thought about injuring somebody.  He certainly didn't want it to happen. We all make mistakes. That doesn't necessarily make it a crime," said Abbott's attorney, Bart Betteau, after his arraignment.

Prosecutor Steve Stewart said Abbott did not show "due regard" in his driving too fast before the crash.

The sheriff's department suspended deputy Abbott's police powers Thursday afternoon.  Sheriff Danny Rodden said Abbott had been on medical leave as he recovered from injuries he received in the crash.

Abbott is due back in court for a hearing Jan. 27.  Judge Daniel Moore set a tentative trial date for March 15.

Abbott faces between six months and three years in prison if convicted of the single count of criminal recklessness.



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