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Jury trial to begin for man accused of killing 2 construction workers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A man accused of crashing into a construction zone and killing two workers is scheduled to have a jury trial on Monday at 9 a.m. at the Marion County Courthouse.

Indiana State Police (ISP) said on May 9, 2014, Jordan Stafford of Fortville, 22 at the time, crashed his pickup into an arrow board and into two construction workers who were clearing cones to open a lane for the morning’s rush hour traffic.

The construction zone was located on Interstate 69 southbound between 82nd and 96th streets. Rieth-Riley Construction workers Coty DeMoss, 24, of Noblesville and Kenneth Duerson Jr., 49, of Indianapolis were both killed. Officials said DeMoss and Duerson were two minutes from the end of their work shift.

A Marion County grand jury issued an indictment on November 5, 2015 against Stafford and charged him with two counts of reckless operation of a vehicle in a highway work zone and two counts of disregarding a traffic control device or flagman in a highway work zone that resulted in the death of a worker. All of the charges are felonies.

Stafford suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash and was treated at St. Vincent’s Hospital. ISP officials confirmed a blood sample was taken from Stafford, however at the time of the crash officials did not suspect alcohol played a role in the crash. No cause has yet been given.

Stafford’s stepmother spoke to 24-Hour News 8 less than two weeks after the deadly crash.

“I’m sure he would want to say that he’s sorry, but it was purely an accident,” said Shannon Stafford.

Court records show Stafford has a history with law enforcement. In August 2012, he pleaded guilty to drug charges in Hancock County (possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and operating a vehicle with Schedule I or II controlled substance). He was sentenced to three years in the Hancock County Jail, community corrections, and had his license suspended for 30 days followed by 180 days of driving restrictions.

In December 2012, Stafford’s sentence was changed to home detention for the entire balance of his sentence “up to and including two years”.

Stafford was also required to submit to at least two drug tests each week. In March 2013, a warrant was issued for Stafford’s arrest for probation violation. It was recommended Community Corrections increase Stafford’s alcohol testing and make sure no alcohol was inside his home.

In January 2014, Stafford admitted to a probation violation. As a result a judge ordered probation be extended for two years or until treatment was completed.

To see his entire violation history, click here.

A civil suit has been filed with the Marion Superior Court on Stafford’s behalf against Reith-Riley Construction Co. INC. Court records show the suit was filed in May 2016 by John F. Townsend, III, attorney for Jordan Stafford. At this time it’s unclear why the civil suit has been filed.

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