INDIANAPOLIS — A Fortville native will spend a decade in prison for his involvement in an early morning crash that killed a pair of construction workers, a Marion County judge ordered Wednesday.
A jury found Jordan Stafford, 24, guilty in July of four Class C felony charges amid allegations he drove recklessly through a construction zone on Interstate 69 in 2014, killing two workers standing along the side of the roadway.
On Wednesday, Judge Sheila Carlisle ordered Stafford to serve a decade in a Indiana Department of Correction facility, official said. His time behind bars begins immediately, records show.
Stafford was found guilty after a three-day trial in Marion County Superior Court, Criminal Division 3. He was indicted by a grand jury late last year and charged with two counts of reckless driving in a highway work zone and two counts of failure to obey a traffic control device, officials said.
Workers Kenneth Duerson Jr., 49, of Indianapolis, and Coty Demoss, 24, of Noblesville, died following the accident.
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Matthew Bigler, who argued the state’s case during trial, said he hoped the conclusion of the case brought some closure to the victims’ families.
“Nothing will ever be able to bring these two men back, but the verdict provides some measure of justice to the families,” Bigler wrote in a statement. “Men and women who work construction jobs on the roads are presented with tremendous risk daily. No matter the level of precautions taken, they still rely on drivers to be aware and to drive cautiously. Unfortunately, in this incident, one reckless driver cost the lives of two men.”
Stafford was driving a pickup truck southbound on I-69 near Interstate 465 around 5:45 a.m. May 9, 2014, when his truck collided with a construction sign posted in the area, police said. Duerson and Demoss were working to move the sign out of the roadway when the crash occurred.
Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration each conducted investigations into the crash and turned their findings over to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office after the wreck, officials said.
Each Class C felony Stafford was found guilty of carried a penalty of two to eight years.
Court records show Stafford’s attorney, Courtney Benson-Kooy of the Marion County Public Defender Office, advocated for Stafford to serve his sentence in a lower-level Marion County Community Corrections facility.
Benson-Kooy did not return calls for comment.
Stafford’s mother, Marcie Stafford of Fortville, declined to comment.