An Ohio man has received the strongest sentence possible for the death of a popular Cincinnati teacher in February. The judge sentenced the 51-year-old man to 9.5 years behind bars followed by three years of post-release control. He is also banned from having a driver’s license for the rest of his life. That was the punishment asked for by prosecutors in Clermont County. According to a June 10 article on the WLWT Channel 5 website, the defendant, who was arrested several days after the crash, had pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide for taking the life of the Cincinnati Country Day School teacher. He was riding his bike at the time.
The defendant had seven previous DUI arrests in the past few decades before this incident. He had been convicted of OVI six times. He was also convicted twice for drug crimes and once for leaving the scene. He also fled after this accident, leaving the victim, who had struck his windshield. Although he was wearing a helmet, he died at the scene. The defendant had reportedly been drinking since morning in at least two different bars when he struck the victim on Round Bottom Road in Union Township. Surveillance video reportedly shows him consuming seven drinks in under four hours. He reportedly bought a six-pack of beer as he left one bar and opened one of the cans as he got in his car. Further, according to the judge, the defendant was on his phone when he stuck the bicyclist. The victim is survived by his wife of just four months, two daughters from an earlier marriage and his parents. It was not reported whether the family is seeking civil action against the driver or any of the establishments that sold him alcohol. Surviving family members of those killed by drunk drivers may be able to hold not only the driver accountable for his or her action in civil court, but also others who allowed the driver to operate a vehicle while impaired. Ohio personal injury attorneys can advise people of their options if they wish to pursue a wrongful death or other suit.
Source: Cincinnati.com, "Drunken driver sentenced for killing teacher," Jennifer Edwards Baker and Liz Dufour, July 10, 2014