Trucker Deemed “Competent” to Stand Trial for Crash Killing Mother and Young Twins
Indianapolis, IN – The trucker accused of causing a seven-vehicle chain reaction crash in Indianapolis in July that claimed the lives of a woman and her young twins has been deemed competent to stand trial.
Bruce Pollard, 57, of Sturgeon, MO, was behind the wheel of a semi-truck traveling in the westbound lanes of I-465 near mile marker 33 shortly after noon on July 14.
Witnesses told authorities Pollard’s big rig drove into slowed traffic, which caused a chain reaction involving seven vehicles.
Twenty-nine year old Alanna Koons and her 18-month-old twin daughters, June and Ruby, died at the scene.
Pollard later told the Indiana State Police (ISP) that a white vehicle cut him off as he was reaching for his iced tea.
Pollard also asserted, according to an affidavit, that his brakes “locked up on him,” and he did not mean to strike the other vehicles.
The tragedy quickly garnered national attention, and a slew of national and local media outlets published stories with headlines such as, “Court Records Show Semi Driver Responsible for Fatal Crash Showed No Remorse,” and “Semi Driver Showed No Remorse After Being Told Family Died in Crash.”
In the days following the accident, prosecutors filed three counts of reckless homicide and one count of reckless operation of a vehicle in a work zone against Pollard.
In August, the U.S. Department of Transportation declared Pollard an “imminent hazard,” and ordered him to no longer operate a commercial vehicle.
Also in August, Pollard’s attorney, Jack Crawford, filed a motion seeking a psychiatric exam for his client.
According to Crawford, Pollard exhibited signs he was suffering from a mental illness and acting “almost child-like.”
Then, in September, prosecutors filed seven additional counts of reckless driving against Pollard, each a misdemeanor.
Earlier this month, Crawford and the prosecutor’s office both confirmed Pollard’s psychiatric exam came back ruling Pollard competent.
Local news station WBIW said Pollard was assessed by two doctors, both of whom declared Pollard as “competent.”
However, the final decision was in the hands of Marion County Criminal Court Judge Barbara Crawford, based on two factors:
A) Is Pollard able to assist his attorney at trial?, and
B) Does Pollard understand the charges against him?
Multiple local outlets, including KSHB, reported on Tuesday that Judge Crawford ruled Pollard competent to stand trial.
Judge Crawford also reportedly set a trial date for January 11, 2020.