FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) –After the gray Toyota 4-Runner ran a red light and struck a young couple on a motorcycle, people called Crime Stoppers, leaving tips identifying the driver.
Tessa Creager, aka Tessa Miller, 42, of the 2700 block of Foxchase Run, was charged Friday with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident with moderate or serious bodily injury. She was booked into custody at 6:22 p.m. the same day at the Allen County Jail and released just after 8 p.m. after paying a $5,000 bond.
Creager appeared in court Monday morning and was released to pretrial services. Magistrate Sam Keirns issued two no-contact orders.
Both charges are Level 6 felonies, which carry a sentence range of between six months and 2.5 years if convicted.
On Aug. 19, victims Amanda Ackermann, 28, and Louis Bunnell, 29, were traveling west on their KTM motorcycle on Washington Boulevard, crossing the Lafayette Street intersection at 8:48 p.m. Creager is accused of then running the red light at Lafayette. She was driving “northbound in the center lane,” according to a probable cause affidavit written by Officer Susan Ulrich of the Fort Wayne Police Department.
Surveillance video from the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission shows the couple “ejected after crashing into the passenger side of the Toyota. The Toyota then ran over the driver of the motorcycle and left the scene northbound without stopping to render aid or exchange information,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
Bunnell was taken to the hospital with a broken femur and five broken ribs. Ackermann suffered a concussion and lost consciousness, was injured with a broken left wrist, black eye and her left leg was punctured, court documents said.
Creager’s vehicle was damaged and a section of the gray Toyota’s rear wheel body trim from the passenger side was found at the scene near the motorcycle, court documents said.
After several tips came in identifying Creager as the driver of the vehicle, police checked with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and found that Creager owned a gray 2010 Toyota 4-Runner.
The mother of an 11-year-old girl riding in the back seat of the Toyota with Creager’s 11-year-old daughter at the time of the accident told police the motorcycle “crashed into their right side by the tire where she was sitting,” and that the crash “made their vehicle swerve,” according to court documents.
The mother said in court documents Creager told the two girls, “They’re fine. They got back up and got back on their motorcycle,” when, in fact, both were on the ground. Ackermann reported to WANE 15 in August just after the crash that she looked over to see her husband on the ground with his thigh bone sticking out.
The girl’s mother turned over to police a text message she received from Creager on Aug. 20 at 10:55 p.m. that said:
“Hey (name deleted), Just wanted to make sure (your daughter) is ok this morning. We are all pretty startled. I know I was in shock. Also, I spoke with a friend of mine who is an attorney and he recommended not speaking of the situation to anyone. If you and (your daughter) could keep it between yourselves, I’d really appreciate it! So sorry this happened, just glad we are all ok!”
The mother then called Creager and “asked if the crash she read about on WANE 15 was the same crash they were in,” court documents said.
Creager responded that it was the same crash and “that the people were fine,” court documents said. The mother told Tessa that “the article sounded like the people were not fine and then Tessa asked (the woman) not to speak to anyone about this,” court documents said.
Detective Ulrich obtained a search warrant for the vehicle found in Creager’s garage on Foxchase Run. It was towed for processing.
“The section of the Toyota wheel trim recovered at the scene was a match for the missing piece from Tessa Creager’s Toyota,” court documents said.
Creager is due back in court on Nov. 6.