FORT WAYNE, Ind. — An out-of-state truck driver will move to Fort Wayne to fulfill his home detention sentence for an accident that killed two people in 2013.
Scott A. Saunders, 51, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was sentenced Monday in Allen Superior Court on two counts of reckless homicide, Class C felonies, and six counts of criminal recklessness, Class D felonies.
The charges were filed after he was involved in a 2013 crash in which Suzanne K. Stephenson, 65, of Monroeville, and Sandra Dealey, 43, of Convoy, Ohio, died in the fiery, six-vehicle crash, which took place near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Doyle Road, east of Interstate 469. Seven other people were injured in the crash.
Saunders will serve three years of home detention followed by six years of probation. His driver license has been suspended for 13 years. He will need to complete 200 hours of community service. Saunders, who had been living in another state, will move to Fort Wayne to complete his sentence. His attorney said one of the hardest challenges Saunders will face is starting over with no job and nowhere to live.
After the sentencing, Adam Mildred, Allen County deputy prosecutor, said in commercial trucking regulation licensed drivers must only drive when both the vehicle is safe and when the driver is considered safe as well.
During the sentencing Saunders testified he had started his day at 9 a.m. feeling safe to drive, but apparently he was not. At the U.S. 30-Doyle Road interchange something went wrong.
According to Mildred, Saunders was driving between 45 and 50 mph when he entered the intersection after the light had already been red for at least 52 seconds.
Tearful family members were on hand. Both husbands of the deceased women submitted letters to the court, which Mildred read aloud. Mark Dealey wrote about how his wife’s death has profoundly changed his life and the lives of their six children.
Saunders told the families he hoped the deaths were something they could one day get over. But he knew he never would. Every day he replays the accident over and over in his mind and he never wants to drive a vehicle again.