Kelli Anderson, the suspect in the crash that killed Kiana Burns is suspected in another deadly crash just a few weeks earlier.
INDIANAPOLIS — The woman charged with reckless homicide in a crash that killed Kiana Burns, an Indianapolis mother of four, has her first court hearing Tuesday morning.
The family of the victim is questioning why the accused suspect, Kelli Anderson, was even allowed to drive after prosecutors said she hit and killed someone else with her car just a few weeks earlier.
Denise Gatling sat on her front porch, clutching her cell phone, staring at the last picture she took with her daughter.
She keeps forgetting it won’t ring, that she will never hear Kiana’s voice again.
They talked every day, often every hour. It’s why she never kept a voicemail – the calls always came and she always picked up.
“I still fully expect to talk to her again and when I think about the fact that I’m not,” Gatling said, tearing up, “it’s hard!”
Saying goodbye to her daughter is becoming all too real.
Gatling spent Monday morning at the florist, choosing pink bouquets for the funeral. Monday afternoon, she brought an urn to the funeral home for cremation.
But Gatling’s grief is also being eclipsed by another emotion, after learning the woman accused of killing Kiana in a chain-reaction crash has a history of trouble behind the wheel.
“It quickly turned into anger and…rage, really,” she said. “That was a shock to say the least.”
RELATED: Woman charged with reckless homicide in chain-reaction crash has history of at-fault crashes
Court documents show 55-year-old Kelli Anderson has had at least five at-fault crashes since 2019, plus another deadly crash just a few weeks prior to the one that killed Kiana at 52nd Street and Keystone Avenue.
Franciscan Health emergency room Dr. Brian Dillman died in May after police say Anderson jumped the curb at 49th and Meridian streets and hit him while he was jogging on the sidewalk.
She hasn’t been charged in that case. Prosecutors tell 13News it is under investigation.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears called Gatling personally last Thursday evening to let her know not only about the charges in her daughter’s death, but also about Anderson’s driving record.
RELATED: Young mother killed in northeast Indy crash gives gift of life to others
“I really appreciated that phone call,” Gatling said. “This is just a hard pill to swallow. I’m like, ‘What do you mean five accidents in three years? What do you mean somebody dead like not even, three weeks? What are you talking about?’ Like, I don’t understand how that happens. I don’t understand how that happens, how that license wasn’t taken a long time ago.”
That’s a question a lot of people have right now.
With a history of crashes, including a deadly wreck, how was Anderson still allowed behind the wheel?
13 News asked the BMV about her record and the procedures to restrict or suspend licenses after multiple crashes. They acknowledged our inquiry, but we’re still waiting to hear back.
“I got a parking ticket a couple years ago and I didn’t pay it in time and they suspended my license,” Gatling said. “A parking ticket, not a moving violation. But I guess had I gone out and killed somebody with my car I would have been able to keep it.”
In the crash that killed Kiana, police say crash data shows Anderson had her foot on the gas, going 68 miles an hour, when she barreled into eight cars at a stoplight.
Kiana’s was the first to get hit. She was the only injury.
Anderson told police she blacked out and was on medication for severe allergies and epilepsy.
Gatling plans to be at Anderson’s first court hearing. She’s also contacted an attorney, seeking justice in her daughter’s death.
“Somebody dropped the ball somewhere. Definitely. If it’s a law that needs to be changed as far as suspension or revocation of driver’s license, then we need to get in front of the legislature and we will do that, because this is unacceptable,” Gatling said.