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Published: Thursday, 3/29/2012

Grand jury to review fatal crash


FREMONT -- The Ohio Highway Patrol's case against a truck driver whose rig crashed into an Ohio Turnpike work area two months ago, killing a worker and injuring two others, will be presented to a Sandusky County grand jury next month.

Lt. Glenn Peterson, commander of the patrol's Milan post, said the patrol plans to charge trucker Edward Mills, 53, of Doylestown, Ohio, with at least misdemeanor vehicular homicide for the Jan. 24 crash that killed Forest John Fletcher, 53, of Perrysburg. The grand jury proceedings scheduled for April 17, Lieutenant Peterson said, will determine whether there is a case for a more serious felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Mr. Mills' tractor-trailer was westbound, just west of the State Rt. 53 interchange north of Fremont, when it entered a construction area's closed lanes and struck the three men and three maintenance vehicles. Mr. Mills; James Roudebush, 55, of Millbury and Anthony J. Stout, 24, of Clyde, Ohio, were injured.

Lieutenant Peterson said medical reports from the crash are incomplete, but are expected to be received in time to present to the grand jury. Mr. Mills has refused patrol requests for interviews, he said.

The post commander said authorities had obtained Mr. Mills' cell phone records, but he declined to disclose what they revealed pending the grand jury hearing.

The crash occurred in a work zone where two of the pike's three westbound lanes were closed for repairs. It occurred after the point at which traffic had merged into a single lane. Witnesses said the semi -- a tanker hauling corrosive liquid that did not spill in the crash -- gradually drifted into the work area before hitting the workers and construction vehicles.

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