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RACINE — A woman charged with homicide by vehicle after a 2019 collision in Burlington was in Racine County Circuit Court on Tuesday where she pleaded guilty to a reduced number of charges.

Anne T. Stark, 54, of McHenry, Illinois, pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide and reckless driving causing great bodily harm.

The defendant was scheduled for trial on Tuesday, but the trial came off the calendar as a result of the negotiated settlement with the Racine County DA’s Office.

Additional charges dropped

The additional charges of homicide by vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances and injury by use of vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances were dismissed but will be read into the record.

The plea agreement also resolved the traffic case against Stark, and the charge of failure to stop at a stop sign causing death, which was dismissed but will be read into the record.

Case history

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched on July 18, 2019, to the intersection of S. English Settlement Avenue and Durand Avenue in Burlington on the report of a two-vehicle collision.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies found a Chrysler minivan in a cornfield on the southeast side of the intersection. There were two occupants in the minivan who were reportedly unconscious but breathing.

In the same cornfield, they also found a Ford pickup truck. The driver was conscious but unresponsive and showed signs of shock. The driver of the pickup truck was ultimately identified as Stark.

All three were transported to the hospital in critical condition. The female from the minivan died from her injuries on July 26, 2019. The male occupant survived but sustained substantial injuries.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators determined the pickup driven by Stark was traveling south on S. English Settlement Avenue. As she approached the intersection, Stark failed to stop for a posted stop sign. There were no signs of tire marks that would have indicated sudden braking before the pickup collided into the minivan, according to the criminal complaint.

The data recorder from the pickup indicated the vehicle was traveling between 78 and 81 mph in a 55 mph zone.

According to the criminal complaint, Stark’s purse contained strips of Buprenorphine and Naloxone as well as Adderall/amphetamine salts. Reportedly, the Adderall was “outside the range” of what was prescribed to Stark.

Two witnesses came forward and reported they saw a vehicle matching the description of Stark’s prior to the accident.

One witness said they were behind a pickup truck in Waterford that was traveling erratically and changing speeds. The driver was reportedly on her phone and her headlights were not on despite the fact it was after dark.

The second witness reported she was also behind a pickup truck traveling with no headlights. The pickup truck crossed the median lines several times, according to the witness.

The case against Stark was filed in Feb. 2021.

Judge Timothy Boyle set a sentencing hearing for 2 p.m. on Jan. 8.

Court news

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