JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) - A southern Indiana mother who pleaded guilty in connection to a crash with a train that killed her two children last June learned her sentence Thursday.
Ericka Fouch was sentenced to 18 years -- nine years for each count of causing death while operating a motor vehicle while driving under influence of a controlled substance. Three years were suspended, meaning Fouch must serve 15 years total. After she is released, she must serve three years of probation.
Fouch was arrested in September, three months after her two children were killed in the crash with a CSX train in Henryville on June 28, 2017 at the crossing on State Road 160. Toxicology results indicated she was under the influence of drugs, and police said she was driving on a suspended license.
After her arrest, Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said a blood sample taken at the scene indicated Fouch had nordiazepam, amphetamine, methamphetamine and THC in her system. Court documents show she admitted taking drugs an hour before the accident.
The sentence was issued as part of a plea deal where prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
In most cases, a plea agreement also comes with a recommended punishment or sentence, but in this case, Fouch agreed to throw herself on the mercy of the court.
During Thursday's sentencing, she expressed deep remorse and said she was ready to be held accountable for her actions.
"I have extreme regret and extreme remorse," Fouch said. "They were were my only two children and I loved them dearly, and I miss them every day. I want to take responsibility for what has happened.”
Fouch also said she is in therapy and undergoing drug treatment.
Fouch's attorney, Niles Driskell, says he believes "that she is remorseful, that she is contrite, and that she's accepting of the sentence that the judge has imposed."
Although Fouch could have been sentenced to probation, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Mull pushed for jail time.
"From the very beginning, and from the time that I saw these two little children that had been killed in this crash, it was my determination to obtain justice for them the best that I could," Mull said after Fouch was sentenced.
Fouch had been on home incarceration since her arrest, but she walked out of court Thursday in handcuffs and was taken to Clark County Jail. She will be transferred to a state prison to serve out her sentence.
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