Truck driver in fatal accident gets prison time, probation

Mug shot of Scott Saunders courtesy the Allen County Sheriff's Department.
Mug shot of Scott Saunders courtesy the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The semi-truck driver who plowed into a line of cars at a red light in January 2013, killing two people and injuring six others, was sentenced on Monday.

Scott A. Saunders,of Kenoshsa, Wisconsin, was sentenced to eight years, with one served and seven suspended. He will be on probation for six years and be required to complete 200 hours of community service. His driver’s license will be suspended for at least 10 years. Saunders will get credit for time served.

Saunders pleaded guilty to all twelve charges against him in May as part of a plea agreement with the court.

Saunders was driving westbound on U.S. 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.

The crash killed 65-year-old Suzanne K. Stephenson, of Monroeville, Indiana and 43-year-old Sandra Dealey, of Convoy, Ohio. Both women were wearing seatbelts and driving separate vehicles at the time of the crash. Six other people were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries.

A video obtained from a nearby truck stop at Doyle Road and U.S. 30 showed that the traffic signal had been red for 52 seconds before the crash.

Charges against Saunders were filed a year after the crash, in January 2014. U.S. Marshals found and arrested Saunders in Greenville, South Carolina on January 22, 2014. When he was told there was a warrant out for his arrest in Indiana, he admitted to knowing what it was about.

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