VALPARAISO — A 27-year-old Westville woman pleaded guilty Monday morning to driving drunk nearly three years ago and causing a crash that left a passenger on a motorcycle dead and the driver seriously injured.
The proposed agreement calls for Rachel Dover to face up to six years on the more serious of the two felony drunken driving charges, which is half of what she faced without the deal, according to court documents.
She faces up to one year on the second count, as compared to the two and a half years the charge typically carries.
The proposal was taken under advisement, and approval and sentencing will be considered Oct. 21 by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.
Dover appeared in court Monday morning with her defense attorney Russell Brown Jr. and admitted to drinking and causing the fatal crash Nov. 5, 2016.
Dover reportedly told police she was driving south at 7:30 p.m. on County Road 550 East approaching U.S. 6 in Jackson Township when she saw two motorcycles driving west, according to charging documents. She turned east once the bikes passed and said she did not see the motorcycle that struck her vehicle.
A passenger on the motorcycle, Nanette Howard, 55, was airlifted to an Illinois hospital and later died of massive trauma to her head and leg, police said.
The driver of the motorcycle also suffered serious injuries, according to police. Neither was wearing a helmet.
Police said they used a portable breath test and found Dover had a blood alcohol content of 0.23%, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08.
Porter County Deputy Prosecutor David Urbanski told the court Monday that sentencing, which is to be argued, will take a substantial amount of time.
Brown said he is exploring alternative placement options for Dover.