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Driver in fatal Ohio crash had multiple OVI, speeding convictions

An Ohio man with multiple moving vehicle violations on his record, including two for operating a vehicle under the influence was reportedly behind the wheel in a tragic accident on Interstate 275 that killed a Batavia teenager. The 16-year-old, who was in the backseat of the Mercedes with no seat belt, was thrown from the car through a window.

The 41-year-old driver admitted to police that he was speeding at the time of the accident. He reportedly told them he was driving 15 miles per hour over the 65 mph speed limit near Kellogg Avenue. Cincinnati police say the man consented to an Intoxilyzer test. Law enforcement has not reported what the man's blood alcohol level was. However, they say that there was an alcoholic beverage container in the vehicle.

The driver is in a hospital undergoing a mental health evaluation. He has not yet been charged with any crime, nor has he lost his license. Prosecutors in Hamilton County are working with police to determine what charges to file. The victim's mother was very open with the media about what she thinks his punishment should be. She said, "I want him to fry. I want him to burn. I don't ever want him to drive again. I want him to sit in jail a very, very long time."

The driver, who had two other teens in the car, including his 14-year-old son, has had two OVI convictions and eight speeding convictions. Although his license was suspended for several years, he was driving with a valid license at the time of this latest crash. The other boys were both wearing seatbelts and were not injured. The victim's father speculated that "the guy was just trying to show off in front of three kids." He implied that the man had served his child alcohol, although law enforcement has not confirmed that.

Regardless of the charges ultimately filed against the driver and any criminal punishment he receives, the victim's family has every right to file a civil suit against him. Civil litigation can help a family deal with the financial burdens caused by an Ohio car accident. It can also provide an added incentive for the at-fault driver and others to think twice before driving recklessly or under the influence.

Source: Cincinnati.com, "Driver of I-275 fatal crash voluntarily took alcohol test" Adam Kiefaber and Jennifer Edwards Baker, Mar. 12, 2014

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