The Journal Gazette
Saturday, November 21, 2020 1:00 am

Mother to spend 2 years in prison

Sentenced in crash that killed daughter

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A Grabill woman was ordered Friday to serve two years of a four-year sentence behind bars for causing a crash that killed her 3-year-old daughter and left her two other children injured 11/2 years ago.

Tamara Q. Holley pleaded guilty last month to reckless homicide. A plea agreement calls for three additional charges of neglect of a dependent to be dropped.

Holley was to stand trial last month before she accepted the plea deal. 

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced Holley to four years, with two years suspended and two years behind bars. She was given credit for having spent two days in jail.

Holley, 24, was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero on April 15, 2019, on Campbell Road near Rupert Road northeast of Fort Wayne when she lost control of the vehicle, went off the road, struck a utility pole and rolled several times, according to charging documents. Jamara Holley, who was in the back seat, was killed.

A 1-year-old boy suffered a broken leg, “a cracked right clavicle bone and a concussion,” a probable cause affidavit said.

Tamara Holley was 30 weeks pregnant at the time, and the child was delivered with a skull fracture and bleeding in the skull.

Holley reportedly told investigators she was taking the children to a babysitter.

Electronic records taken from the car showed it was traveling 92 mph before the air bag deployed, according to the affidavit. The speed limit on Campbell Road is 55 mph.

Russell Collins of the Allen County Sheriff's Department interviewed Holley on May 3 and asked whether she had any reason to dispute the records.

“(She) stated she usually drives 'more' than the speed limit,” Collins wrote in court documents.

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