INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis mother will serve 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to crashing her vehicle while intoxicated and causing the death of her 2-year-old daughter.
Tasha Baker, 32, was originally charged with 12 criminal counts in connection to the crash. On Thursday, she pleaded guilty to causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated along with three counts of causing serious bodily injury.
As part of her plea deal, the remaining charges were dismissed. Baker was sentenced to 30 years with 20 years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction. The rest of her sentence was suspended, although Baker was ordered to serve three years of probation along with undergoing treatment for mental health and substance abuse.
According to court documents, Baker was behind the wheel of a 2005 Mercury Mariner on Dec. 1, 2020, when she drove off the roadway while traveling at a high rate of speed. The Mariner struck a curb and a tree, flipping the vehicle onto its driver’s side before the Mariner went rolling across an Aldi parking lot on N. Keystone Avenue.
While the vehicle was rolling, Baker’s 2-year-old daughter was ejected from the Mariner. The child was later pronounced dead on scene. Court documents reveal that Baker would later tell police that she had taken the young child out of her car seat, though she could not recall why.
Two other adults along with a second juvenile were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. One of the adults later told police that Baker was recklessly speeding prior to the crash.
Baker admitted to drinking prior to getting behind the wheel, court documents reveal. Baker reportedly told a medic that she had drank several shots of tequila and whiskey.
Tests revealed that Baker had a blood alcohol content of .114%. She also tested positive for THC, court documents said.
One of the adult passengers and the second juvenile suffered “critical internal injuries” as a result of the crash, according to the court documents.
The other adult passenger suffered three fractured vertebrae and a fractured rib.
Video obtained from a nearby business showed Baker’s Mercury Mariner traveling at a high rate of speed on N. Keystone Avenue when she swerved around a slower vehicle, overcorrected and then drove off the roadway triggering the crash.
Despite the crash occurring in December 2020 and a warrant being issued in January 2021, Baker wasn’t arrested until nearly nine months later.