KSP Report Leaves Questions in Fatal Accident Involving Trooper
On August 27, 2012, you posted something on your site regarding Kentucky State Police Trooper Jonathan Biven’s accident that resulted in the death of another. He was not charged nor punished for this.
Over a year has passed, and the KPS has finally released their final report on the matter. Once again, Trooper has not been criminally charged nor has he been disciplined for this incident.
Wave 3 reports:
PARK CITY, KY - The case is now closed, but questions remain after a woman was killed in an accident with a Kentucky State Trooper.
WAVE 3 has obtained a copy of the investigation into that fatal accident. It comes more than a year after Trooper Jonathan Biven crossed the center line and hit an oncoming car killing Nurcan Ceylan, 33.
The 73 page report brought closure to Kentucky State Police’s investigation into the wreck, but not to the victim’s boyfriend, Samuel Parker.
“Its been rough because it’s always the unknown, you don’t know what’s in the report, you don’t know what the findings are going to be,” Parker said. “I think the report brought up more questions as to what really happened.”
Parker was in the passenger seat on September 15, 2011 when a cruiser driven by Trooper Biven crossed the center line and slammed into Ceylan’s driver side. The accident happened on a rural stretch of Highway 31-W in Barren County.
“Out of nowhere, and I mean literally out of no where, he came right into our lane,” Parker said.
Ceylan died of multiple blunt force injuries.
KSP’s initial collision report released shortly after the crash faulted Trooper Biven for “inattention” and not keeping his cruiser “under proper control.”
One month after the accident, in October 2011, then KSP spokesman Lt. David Jude said Trooper Biven was following two other cruisers on their way to serve a warrant. But Lt. Jude declined to elaborate further saying the questions would be answered when the full investigation was complete.
“I can tell you with 100 percent passion and certainty that this will be a fair, impartial investigation that will be done,” Lt. Jude said at the time. “I have zero doubts about any of that.”
It now appears a major focus of that investigation was to find out if Trooper Biven was on his cell phone when the wreck happened. Investigators studied Biven’s phone records and the logs revealed the Trooper did make one phone call minutes before impact to his friend and local radio personality Kellie McKay.
But records indicated that call ended at 3:46 p.m., one minute before the reported time of the accident, estimated at between 3:47 and 3:48 p.m. That time line was backed up by McKay in a recorded interview with investigators, a copy of which was included with the final accident report obtained by WAVE 3.
“There was no doubt,” McKay told investigators. “I knew we were completely off the phone. I knew (the accident) had to happen shortly after we were off the phone.”
Biven told investigators the last thing he remembered was taking a drink from a coke, then the air bag deploying. The report states investigators found that coke bottle on the floor board, with the cap still on. And it never really pinpoints the cause of the “inattention” that led to Trooper Biven crossing the center line.
The reports only real conclusion comes on the summary page.
“It is the opinion of this investigator that this collision occurred due to (Trooper Biven) crossing into the oncoming lane and striking the driver side of (Ceylan’s vehicle) in the driver’s fender and driver’s door area,” the report states, something Parker knew from the start.
“The Kentucky State Police should have dug further and they didn’t do it,” Parker said. “Nurcan needs to get some justice here.”
After reviewing KSP findings, Barren Metcalfe Commonwealth’s Attorney Karen David cleared Trooper Biven of any criminal wrongdoing. He remains on the job in his same role, public affairs officer for KSP’s Bowling Green Post.
A spokesman for all things including, safe driving.
Samuel Parker has filed a lawsuit in Barren County Court accusing Trooper Biven of negligence and recklessness on the job. The Kentucky State Police Department is also named in that lawsuit. KSP has filed a motion asking a judge to throw that lawsuit out of court.
David Berman, attorney for the family of Nurcan Ceylan, indicated KSP has paid out a settlement to the Ceylan family, who lives in Pennsylvania. Berman could not discuss specifics or say how much the family received because KSP forced the family to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Kentucky State Police declined to speak on camera for this story, saying the final accident report speaks for itself.