INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Missouri man was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison in the reckless homicide of a mother and her 18-month-old twin daughters in a July 2019 crash on I-465, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Bruce Pollard, 58, of Sturgeon, Missouri, had pleaded guilty but mentally ill to three counts of reckless homicide, a count reckless operation of a vehicle in a construction zone, and seven counts of reckless driving causing injury.
The nine-year sentence was the maximum allowed under the terms of the plea agreement.
The crash happened around noon July 14, 2019, in the eastbound lanes of I-465 on the northeast side near the Keystone Avenue interchange. Pollard, driving a semi carrying metal shelving, plowed into stopped traffic at a high rate of speed, hitting six cars and overturning a truck, police said. Alanna Koons, 29, and her twin, 18-month-old daughters, June and Ruby, died in the crash. Seven other people were sent to area hospitals, police said.
Two doctors had deemed Pollard competent to advance to trial, according to Pollard’s defense lawyer.
Prosecutors said 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. According to witnesses, he was travelling at a high rate when he changed lanes and failed to brake when he struck the stationary vehicle of Koons. Indianapolis Fire Department said the first car hit by the semi burst into flames before hitting two other cars, overturning a truck with a trailer, and pinning a car against the interstate shoulder and dragging it 300 yards before hitting two more cars.
Based on the investigation, Pollard’s semitrailer is believed to have been travelling at 65 mph at the time of the crash, prosecutors said. The crash occurred within an active construction zone with a speed limit of 45 mph.
Pollard was treated for a minor abrasion at the scene, the fire department said.
Pollard remained in the Marion County jail on Monday afternoon.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a statement, “The Koons family experienced a heart-wrenching tragedy with the loss of Alanna, June and Ruby. As drivers on our roadways, we have the obligation to be vigilant and observe traffic and warning signs to keep motorists and roadworkers safe. Mr. Pollard’s failure to do so resulted in devastating consequences.”