Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Teen gets detention in '99 crash

Accident the basis for $4M lawsuit

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — A Lebanon High School senior who slammed his car into a tree in a high-speed crash that seriously injured two classmates was sentenced Monday to two days in juvenile detention and 40 hours of community service.

        The 17-year-old boy, who was convicted of aggravated vehicular assault for the May 1999 crash, will serve the two days on a weekend so he doesn't miss school, said Robert Peeler, special prosecutor on the case.

        Visiting Judge Mark Clark also suspended the teen's driving privileges for six months, but granted him permission to drive to school and to work.

        The crash became the ba sis for a $4 million lawsuit against the school district, the boy — who had a prior speeding conviction — his parents and three insurance firms.

        Gloria Coyle, whose daughter, Angela Utz, was the most seriously hurt, claims that school officials were negligent because they told students to car pool to a school-related cleanup project on the Little Miami River.

        Bus transportation was canceled for the event after drivers called in sick to protest the district's taking bus service private.

        Four students were with the boy when he lost control of his 1985 Honda Accord on Ohio 350 on the way to Morgan's Canoe Livery.

        Wesley Ferris, a front-seat passenger who was trapped in the wreckage, also was seriously injured. The driver and two others were treated at a hospital and released.


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