Woman pleads guilty in fatal U.S. 30 crash

A Winona Lake woman has pleaded guilty to killing another woman last September on U.S. 30.

Stacey R. Motz-Altman, 38, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to reckless homicide and criminal recklessness charges Wednesday in Allen Superior Court. According to terms of the plea agreement, if Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck accepts the plea at sentencing July 31, Motz-Altman will get no jail time. Her 81/2-year suspended sentence will be served on probation with the first year on electronic monitoring.

Motz-Altman was driving her black 2015 Infiniti Q50 sedan before 11 p.m. Sept. 16 on U.S. 30 near Goshen Road when she admitted in court, “I recklessly killed another human being,” 54-year-old Luann Simon, who was driving a 2012 Chevrolet Impala.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, Motz-Altman struck Simon’s Impala, shoving it into the rear of a semi tractor-trailer and dragging it underneath the semi’s trailer for several hundred feet before coming to a stop. Simon was extricated and taken in critical condition to the hospital, where she later died.

A seat belt control module indicated Motz-Altman was driving 142 mph at the time of the accident. Motz-Altman said she was driving to Fort Wayne to get something to eat. She had no drugs or alcohol in her system, the affidavit said.

Motz-Altman pleaded guilty to a criminal recklessness charge because she endangered the life of the semi driver, who was apparently uninjured.

Motz-Altman said Wednesday in court she suffers from schizophrenia and is bipolar. “I was suffering from severe mental illness at the time,” she said.

Additional terms of her plea, if accepted, include restitution in the amount of $29,187 and license suspension to be determined by the court.