(BLOOMINGTON) - According to Bloomington Police, 27-year-old Steven Finch gave police conflicting stories after he allegedly hit a motorcyclist, killing him.
The Herald-Times reports that Finch finally admitted he hit the motorcyclist and ran over him and then attempted to wash evidence from the crash off his car.
37-year-old Shane Harden, of Bloomington, died from head injuries at the scene of the hit-and-run accident just before 8 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Moores Pike and Olcott Boulevard.
Bloomington police arrested Finch on a preliminary felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Police says other charges could be filed. He was booked into the Monroe County Jail at 2:33 p.m. Tuesday and released three hours later after posting a $1,000 bond, according to jail records.
According to Bloomington Sgt. John Kovach, one of the accident reconstructionist who investigated the accident, says Finch told police he was traveling west on Moores Pike to go see his vehicle 1998 Pontiac Sunfire worked on Tuesday morning. He told police there was a glare from the sun and he thought there could have been a motorcycle coming at him in his lane, so he swerved to the left to avoid hitting it.
Finch told police he hit something and thought maybe it was a deer, but didn't stop to look. He then headed back to his house on Knightridge Road.
That is when he told police he heard a news story on the radio that police were working an accident at Moores Pike and Olcott Boulevard, and that's when he decided to go to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Kovach says Finch's stories were inconsistent.
Then Finch told police he was traveling east on Moores Pike because he wanted to stop by his house to pick up his son to take with him when he got the car worked on.
While Finch was speaking with police, accident reconstructionist Sgt. Brad Seifers was looking at Finch's car which was in Ellettsville. Seifer says the car was washed, but did find evidence underneath the car linking Finch to the accident.
Police asked Finch if he had washed the car and at first he said no, but then admitted that he had.
Kovach says Finch finally admitted he was distracted and did hit Harden's motorcycle because he was trying to attach his smartphone to his car's stereo.
Finch told police he was traveling east on Moores Pike, saw a glare from the sun and then saw the brake or tail lights of the motorcycle. Finch says he swerved to the left to avoid hitting the motorcycle, but his front passenger side of his car hit Harden's 2007 Suzuki GXS motorcycle.
The impact threw Harden, who was not wearing a helmet, from motorcycle.
Finch told police he then saw another driver stop and get out of their car. That woman dialed 911.
After more than three hours of investigation at the scene, accident reconstructionists Kovach and Seifers determined that after the crash, Finch stopped and backed up, dragging Harden's body underneath his car. Police report once Harden was no longer underneath the car, Finch made a U-turn and left the area headed west on Moores Pike.
However Finch claims he pulled into a nearby neighborhood then continued east toward Ind. 446 after the accident.
Finch finally admitted he hit and ran over the motorcyclist, but told police he didn't back over Harden or drag him behind his car.
After hearing about the accident on the radio and not wanting the police to come to his home and confront his family, Finch told police he decided to drive to his parents' house in Ellettsville. They were not at home, so Finch called them. Finch's father took him to the sheriff's department about two hours after the fatal crash.
Finch was taken to the hospital to have his blood drawn for a chemical test, which is required by law in any fatal accident or one causing serious injury. Kovach says Finch did not show any obvious signs of intoxication on Tuesday. Officials are waiting on the results of the blood tests.
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