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Indiana man gets probation for fatal crash that killed pregnant Holdingford woman

17December 2021

On the third anniversary of a crash that killed Casey Myers of Holdingford, Minn., and her unborn son, a Stearns County district judge sentenced the semi driver who caused the collision to 10 years of supervised probation — a sentence that Myers’ mother said lacks justice.

“It’s a disappointment, a letdown,” Pattie Gunderson said after reading a statement about her 30-year-old daughter before the judge at the sentencing Friday. “It’s a lot to take in today. A lot of hurt, a lot of hurt.”

Corey W. Planck, 49, of Star City, Ind., was driving toward Sartell after unloading cargo in St. Joseph on Dec. 17, 2018, when he ran a four-way stop sign and struck Myers’ vehicle, killing her and her unborn son Simon.

In July, Judge Nathaniel Welte convicted Planck on one count of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of criminal vehicular operation resulting in the death of an unborn child.

On Friday, Welte sentenced Planck to eight years and 10 month in prison but stayed the sentence, meaning Planck won’t face prison time unless he violates his terms of probation.

Planck’s attorney, Kenneth Wilson, asked the judge for a lesser sentence, arguing that his client was “particularly amenable to probation” because he had no criminal history and had expressed remorse for the incident. Wilson also cited Planck’s cooperation and attitude in court, his support from friends and family, and that he was not a public safety risk.

Gunderson said Planck wrote the family a letter but didn’t seem sincere in his remorse. However, she said, she has forgiven him.

“We know he didn’t mean to do it — and I said that to him: I know you didn’t mean to do it or have the intention to do it, but you get to go live your life,” Gunderson said. “I do not get to live my life with my child. She is gone.

“It almost felt like Casey and Simon didn’t matter. There was really no justice for those two.”

Gunderson said Welte apologized to the family that the sentencing came on the anniversary of the fatal crash.

On the day she was killed, Myers was driving to CentraCare in St. Cloud, where she worked in the pediatric and adult rehabilitation departments. Planck told police he didn’t see the stop sign, and a crash reconstruction showed he didn’t brake until he was in the intersection.

Investigators found Planck was listening to GPS through an ear piece and was on the phone with a supervisor when he missed the yellow warning sign, directional signs and the red stop sign, court documents state.

Welte ordered Planck to pay restitution of $7,900 to Matthew Myers, Casey’s husband and father of their sons Tyson and Simon. The judge also ordered Planck to complete 100 hours of community service each year for at least 10 years or make a $1,000 donation to organizations dedicated to eliminating distracted driving or to purchase equipment for uninsured rehabilitation patients in Casey Myers’ name.

Gunderson said friends and family planned to visit Myers’ grave Friday and visit the CentraCare Health Plaza, where a bench was dedicated in her memory.

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