INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Formal charges were filed Thursday against a truck driver accused of causing a fatal crash on I-465.
Bruce Pollard, 57, is facing three counts of reckless homicide and one count of reckless operation of a vehicle in a work zone.
After the charges were filed, Pollard made his first court appearance. On his way to court, after being prompted to apologize to the victim’s family by a fellow jail inmate, Pollard did express some remorse for causing the deaths of 29-year-old Alanna Koons and her 18-month-old twins June and Ruby.
While walking to court Thursday, he was asked if he felt bad about what happened. "Yes sir," he replied.
According to court documents, Pollard was speeding and distracted when he plowed into the back of traffic which was stopped because of construction.
The crash happened in the eastbound lanes near the Keystone exit Sunday afternoon.
Court documents claim Pollard got distracted while reaching for his iced tea, didn’t notice traffic had slowed for construction and caused a chain reaction crash on I-465.
Indiana State Police say initially Pollard claimed he was only driving 30 miles per hour (mph), but investigators recovered data from Pollard’s truck that showed he was driving 65 mph, 20 mph over the limit, and he didn’t hit his brakes until after impact.
Court documents say police confronted Pollard with that information, but he continued to show no emotion. He kept saying that he "guesses" he was going too fast. He also asked when he would be released and when he could get his things back.
“This is one of the more difficult cases we’ve had to deal with here,” said Marion County deputy prosecutor Ryan Mears. “It’s one of those cases we all take a step back and think about our own families.”
Prosecutors say while fatal accidents happen every day, people who drive recklessly can and should be held accountable.
“This is just one of those cases that shows when you drive in a construction zone you need to be mindful of everyone. You need to be mindful of the workers and the vehicles in front of you. It’s imperative you drive in a safe manner,” said Mears.
According to the affidavit, following the crash, “Pollard did not express any remorse… but did express concern about his belongings, medicine and which hotel ISP would transport him to.”
A search of court records in Missouri and Indiana shows Pollard had more than a dozen previous driving violations, including a 2017 conviction in which Pollard admitted to falsifying his medical card so that he could drive a commercial vehicle.
“We know that the great majority of drivers out there are the most professional and best trained drivers on the road, yet we have incidents like this that are disappointing and tragic and we just all hate to see it,” said Gary Langston with the Indiana Motor Truck Association.
Langston says the trucking industry spends $9 billion per year on safety training and technology, which makes a case like this one against Pollard sad and frustrating.
“It makes you have a sick feeling in your stomach. Our number one objective every day is safety in the trucking industry. We have that responsibility. We drive billions of miles,” said Langston.
A judge set Pollard’s bond at $100,000. Pollard said in court he plans to post the required amount. If he is released from jail, Pollard will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor until his trial.