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Indiana mom changes plea, admits guilt in crash with train that killed her 2 kids

Published: Feb. 5, 2018 at 5:36 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 5, 2018 at 8:33 PM EST
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JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Several months after denying guilt in her children's deaths, a Clark County mother has changed her plea and will accept a possible prison sentence.

Ericka Fouch was behind the wheel of her car when she drove into the train crossing at State Road 160 and Railroad Street in Henryville last summer, despite warning signals and loud noises. The car collided with a train, killing her two kids -- 5-year-old Adalynn and 4-year-old Wyatt.

Following the crash, Fouch's blood test on the way to the hospital showed methamphetamine and THC in her system.

"When you have a four-year-old and a five-year-old child that are dead that shouldn't be because someone used drugs, as heartbreaking as that is, I have to hold the line here as the prosecutor," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.

Fouch was charged with two counts of operating while intoxicated, and two counts of neglect of a dependent, resulting in death, among other charges.

"The investigation reveals that approximately one hour before the collision occurred, Miss Fouch did use drugs," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said back in September.

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While fighting back tears in court Monday, Fouch changed her plea to guilty, and the judge accepted the deal that included the dropped counts of neglect. For the OWI charges, she could spend up to a maximum of 24 years in prison when she is sentenced March 8. It is also possible that the judge may only sentence her to an extended sentence of home incarceration.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said he agreed to remove two charges of neglecting a dependent in exchange for her guilty plea because Fouch has already lost so much.

"A set of charges that carried up to 24 years of prison was appropriate in this case due to the trauma that she went through having lost her own children," Mull explained.

"Obviously, this is a case where there are just no winners," Niles Driskell, Fouch's attorney, said.  Driskell said this is a tragic case and she's trying to accept her role in what she's done.

Driskell explained that she is receiving drug treatment and making strides to make changes in her life and this plea shows that.

Had she not changed her plea, Fouch's trial was scheduled to start next week.

"We believe this plea agreement reflects the realities of what happened. And it is Ericka's attempt to take responsibility for her actions," Driskell said.

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