Semi-truck driver pleads guilty in fatal crash

US 30 fatal crash on Jan. 8, 2013

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The semi-truck driver that plowed into a line of cars at a red light in January 2013, killing two people and injuring six others, pleaded guilty to all charges. Scott A. Saunders, 51, of Kenoshsa, Wisconsin pleaded guilty to 12 charges including reckless homicide.

U.S. Marshals arrested Saunders in Greenville, South Carolina on January 22.

Saunders was driving westbound on US 30, near South Doyle Road, on January 8, 2013, according to the affidavit for probable cause. The light at the intersection just turned green and the cars that had been stopped hadn’t yet accelerated with Saunders slammed into a line of five cars, according to witnesses.

Suzanne Stephenson, 65, of Monroeville, Indiana and Sandra Dealey, 43, of Convoy, Ohio both died in the crash. Six other people were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries.

Saunders pleaded guilty to the following felony charges:

  • Reckless Homicide (Two counts)
  • Criminal Recklessness  (Six counts)

Saunders entered a plea agreement to the court Wednesday.  In it, he says he will serve one year in jail with three years suspended.  Saunders wants other years he could face in jail suspended too.  In return, he claims he would be willing to serve six years on active adult probation.  During the first three years on probation would be in the Community Control Home Detention Program.  While on probation Saunders would not be permitted to drive or get a license anywhere.  Saunders would complete 200 hours of community service, pay court fines, restitution, $100 public defender fee.  On counts one and four (reckless homicide charges) for both his driving privileges would be suspended for five years.  Counts seven through 12, driving privileges revoked for another six months.

It’s up to the judge to determine whether or not to accept the agreement during sentencing on July 14th.

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