Man involved in fatal 2017 hit-and-run pleads guilty, victims remembered

Justin Votaw pleaded guilty to five counts of leaving the scene of a crash. He's facing three felony charges, and two misdemeanors.The crash involved three vehicles, and killed Jonathan "Jonny" Tracy, 23, and Alisa Arseneau, 24.

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 4:57 PM
Updated: Apr 13, 2018 10:26 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- The man accused of leaving the scene of a deadly hit-and-run back in February of 2017 pleaded guilty Thursday morning in an Allen County court room.

Justin Votaw pleaded guilty to five counts of leaving the scene of a crash. He's facing three felony charges, and two misdemeanors.

The crash involved three vehicles, and killed Jonathan "Jonny" Tracy, 23, and Alisa Arseneau, 24. Three others were also injured, including Votaw's passenger.

Both Tracy and Arseneau were servers at Texas Roadhouse for over a year. Their kitchen manager, Danielle Meyer,  remembers them every day.

"Jonny and Alisa were those two people that you wanted to have on your team. They were always smiling, always having a great time," Meyer said.

Tracy and Arseneau dated for a while, and were described as, "inseparable." The crash is on the minds of staff every day.

"The energy that they played off of each other made you want to be around them. When we found that out, it's just a day I'll never forget."

Just over a year after their deaths, flowers surround their pictures in the restaurant, and a tree was planted in their memory.

Justin Votaw told the judge Thursday he didn't cause the crash, but that Jonathan Tracy lost control. His vehicle crossed the center line and struck an oncoming car, bursting into flames. Votaw then hit them, and left the scene. He didn't call 911 or help any of the other people involved.

Votaw also told the judge he was diagnosed with PTSD in the past.

Votaw will be back in court May 11 for his sentencing.

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