The family of an Indianapolis woman killed in an eight-vehicle accident this month said her death could have been avoided.
Reports show mother of four, Kiana Burns, 28, died after Kelli Anderson drove 50 to 60 miles per hour over a center median and slammed into Burns’ Pontiac G6, causing a pile-up at a red traffic light. Burns was transported to nearby hospital, where she was removed from life support two days later.
“She was my best friend. We talked a lot every single day,” Burns’ mother Denise Gatling said. “She called me about an hour and a half before the accident and I told her I loved her at the end of that call.”
Reports show Anderson should have never been behind the steering wheel of her Lincoln SUV that crashed into Burns. She entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday morning and is being held on a $100,000 bond.
Investigators discovered that Anderson was also the driver that plummeted into emergency room doctor Brian Dillman on a sidewalk on May 19. Anderson reportedly crossed from the east lane into the west lane and drove over a curb on the north side of the street before swerving into the doctor on his daily walk. Dillman also died later at a hospital.
According to court documents, Anderson was discharged from the hospital a day after hitting Dillman and was advised against driving until she sought more medical help.
“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 6 months until cleared by a neurologist,” Anderson’s medical summary said.
Anderson told officers after the June accident that killed Burns that she was taking seizure medication for “severe, life-threatening allergies and epilepsy.”
“Honestly, I blacked out, ’cause I don’t remember what happened,” Anderson reportedly said.
Gatling said authorities told her it took two hours to take her daughter out of the vehicle. Burns, whose youngest child was born last year, never moved or opened her eyes while on life support, she said. Reports show Burns was the only one injured in the accident. The family is trying to cope with the sudden loss.
“This was totally preventable,” Gatling said. “It shouldn’t of happened.”
An investigation by Fox 59 revealed that Anderson was involved in five at-fault accidents since August 2019.
Anderson struck a pole just 17 days before hitting Dillman on the sidewalk. She told police she swerved to avoid hitting a car that stopped abruptly in front of her on May 2.
On Sept. 2021, Anderson rear-ended a vehicle and hit a fire hydrant. She told officers then that she did recall being in the accident and “did not know she hit anyone.”
Anderson also rear-ended a vehicle in March 2021 and ran into a BMW in February 2020 after running a stop sign, reports show.
On Aug. 3, 2019, Anderson told officers that she probably had a seizure after driving into a ditch and flipping her Saturn Outlook.
Anderson faces one count of reckless homicide and six counts of criminal recklessness for the June 9 crash. No charges have been filed against her for hitting the doctor. However, prosecutors asked the court on Tuesday to suspend Anderson’s driver’s license. The motion is pending, according to reports.
“We think it’s completely justifiable that the state should suspend her license. We only wish that there were avenues that this could’ve been done prior to this tragedy happening,” said Dustin Fregiato, an attorney representing Kiana Burns’ family.
“If there was a loophole that allowed this to continue, we will hope to close that loophole in the future for all families to prevent these tragedies from happening.”