The semi driver charged in a crash on Interstate 465 last summer that killed three people has agreed to plead guilty but mentally ill to felony reckless homicide and misdemeanor recklessness charges.
Bruce Pollard and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office filed the agreement Monday, with Pollard pleading to three counts of Level 5 felony reckless homicide, one count of Class A misdemeanor reckless operation of a vehicle in a highway work zone and seven counts of Class A misdemeanor reckless driving.
A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled, but the agreement calls for a sentence of three to nine years in the Department of Correction.
The seven-vehicle crash occurred in a construction zone that had a reduced speed limit of 45 mph. According to the prosecutor’s office, witnesses say Pollard was travelling at 65 mph in the construction zone, where he changed lanes and failed to brake before striking Koons’ stationary vehicle.
“Pollard failed to abide by multiple information and warning signs indicating an upcoming construction zone for several miles along the interstate prior to the crash,” the prosecutor’s office said in a news release announcing the plea agreement.
Pollard’s attorney, John Crawford of Indianapolis, declined to comment on the plea agreement before it is considered and accepted by Judge Barbara Crawford in Marion Superior Court Criminal Division 1.
Under the plea agreement, Pollard would serve a minimum of three years. An additional three to six years could be added based on whether the judge determines the three-year sentences for the reckless homicide charges should run consecutively or concurrently.
Pollard has waived his right to appeal his sentence as long as the court sentences him within the terms of the agreement. He does not, however, waive his right to seek post-conviction relief.
The agreement contemplates placing Pollard in the Marion County Community Corrections program, though it notes he can be held in custody pending community corrections availability.
A jury trial had initially been scheduled for Feb. 3.
In August, the defense sought a psychiatric exam to determine Pollard’s competence to stand trial. Crawford, his attorney, sought medical records from a “serious head injury” more than four years ago.
According to Fox 59, two doctors in November said Pollard was competent.
The case is State of Indiana v. Bruce A. Pollard, 49G01-1907-F5-028008.