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Published: Thursday, 4/4/2013

Mich. man indicted for wrong-way I-75 fatality

Early Christmas Day crash killed Toledoan

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A LaSalle, Mich., man has been indicted on two charges stemming from a wrong-way Christmas Day crash on I-75 that killed a Toledo man.

Adam Tunison, 41, was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury Wednesday on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. One of the counts alleges Tunison drove under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

Police said Tunison was driving the wrong way on southbound I-75 between the Ottawa River Road and I-280 interchange in North Toledo about 3 a.m. when he crashed head on into the car driven by Juan Garcia, Jr.

Mr. Garcia, 26, of Toledo, was pronounced dead at the scene. Relatives said he had been at Midnight Mass with a friend in Michigan and was returning to his Toledo apartment, where he planned to have his family for Christmas dinner.

While one charge in the indictment alleges drunk driving, the other count accuses Tunison of driving recklessly in causing the crash.

Rob Miller, chief of the special units division of the county prosecutor’s office, declined to provide the results of tests measuring Tunison’s blood alcohol after the accident. He said investigators obtained two samples and both exceeded the legal limit of 0.08 for drunk driving in Ohio.

Tunison was injured in the accident and taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for treatment.

If convicted of the more serious aggravated vehicular homicide charge that alleges driving drunk, Tunison could be sentenced to eight years in prison. As of Wednesday night, he was not in custody and no hearing dates had been set. He could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Miller said Tunison didn’t have an Ohio or Michigan driver’s license. He said his last valid operator’s license was issued in California. “To our knowledge, he is not licensed to drive anywhere in the country,” he said.

Tunison was arrested on Sept. 5 in Toledo on suspicion of drunk driving. According to police reports, officers stopped his pickup about 2:33 a.m. on South Reynolds Road, near Angola Road. He was driving without a license and his blood-alcohol level was 0.154, the report said.

Tunison pleaded not guilty in that incident. A trial date has not been scheduled in the case.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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