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Allen County Sheriff's Department
Scott A. Saunders

Guilty plea in double-fatal crash

A trucker involved in a fiery New Haven crash that left two people dead and seven others injured will likely face little prison time.

Instead of a long stint behind bars, 51-year-old Scott A. Saunders will be living on house arrest and be forbidden to drive a vehicle of any kind for years.

Saunders, of Kenosha, Wis., pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and six counts of criminal recklessness Wednesday in Allen Superior Court.

Those charges came in the wake of a six-vehicle wreck he’s accused of causing Jan. 8, 2013.

If a plea agreement he made with Allen County prosecutors is accepted, he’ll be sentenced to serve one year in prison, six years on probation – the first three years of which he’ll be in a community home program – and not operate a motor vehicle during that time.

Saunders has been in Allen County Jail since January after charges were filed against him.

The crash that landed him there happened at U.S. 30 and Doyle Road on New Haven’s east side.

Saunders admitted in an Allen Superior Courtroom on Wednesday that he was following too closely to traffic as he approached the light at Doyle.

He failed to slow down or stop as the light turned from red to green, according to court documents.

His semi and trailer then slammed into cars in front of him, causing a chain reaction that left two women dead.

Suzanne K. Stephenson, 65, of Monroeville, and Sandra Dealey, 43, of Convoy, both died of blunt-force trauma.

In the aftermath a batch of lawsuits were filed against Saunders and his trucking company, Kutlzer Express.

At least three of those lawsuits had been settled as of late last year.

Saunders is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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