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Published: Saturday, 10/23/2004

East Toledo man is indicted in State Rt. 2 tragedy that killed 6

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

An East Toledo man involved in an accident that killed two adults and four children in June on State Rt. 2 has been indicted on 15 counts by an Ottawa County grand jury.

Brian J. Woody, 29, of 1310 Camden St., was arraigned yesterday before Ottawa County Common Pleas Judge Paul C. Moon. Mr. Woody posted 10 percent of a $50,000 bond ordered by the judge and was released from the Ottawa County jail shortly after being booked.

Mr. Woody was indicted on 12 counts of aggravated vehicular homicide six counts are second-degree felonies that allege he was driving under the influence; the other six are third-degree felonies that allege he was reckless.

Mr. Woody also was indicted on two counts of aggravated vehicular assault one is a third-degree felony and the other a fourth-degree felony and one count of attempting to leave the scene of an accident, a fourth-degree felony.

If convicted of the most serious offenses, Mr. Woody could receive 54 years in prison, Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan said.

After the court proceeding attended by Mr. Woody s

father, mother, and aunt Mr. Mulligan emphatically said he wishes somebody at [the Ohio Department of Transportation] or in the administration would fix that route.

Fix Route 2 before I have to look at more pictures of dead children, he said. Let s quit the studies and get the road fixed.

Six people from Michigan were killed and a 13-year-old Michigan girl was hurt seriously in the accident just before midnight June 21. They were headed toward Detroit in a sport-utility vehicle after a day at the Cedar Point amusement park when the accident occurred.

According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, Mr. Woody s Chevrolet Blazer swerved and hit a tractor-trailer on a two-lane stretch of the busy highway that initiated a four-vehicle collision.

Witnesses said Mr. Woody s westbound Blazer veered across the center line, striking the eastbound semi with its front left corner. The impact caused the semi to spin and clip a Toyota Corolla in the left rear before smashing into a Cadillac Escalade head-on, killing six of its seven occupants.

Killed in the crash were Darryl K. Scott, 44, of Detroit; his girlfriend, Shannon Scott, 24, of Romulus, Mich., and his niece, Ariel Scott, 12, of Detroit. Sisters Alexis Howard, 9, and Alecia Howard, 7, of Eastpointe, Mich, both daughters of Mr. Scott, and Shannon Scott s niece, Amber Channey, 6, of Ypsilanti, Mich., also were killed.

Mr. Scott s daughter, Brandi Scott, 13, of Sterling Heights, Mich., survived. Her mother has filed a personal injury lawsuit on her daughter s behalf in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against Mr. Woody and the semi driver and his employer.

Authorities said Mr. Woody had a blood-alcohol content of 0.025 percent, based on blood drawn 2 hours after the accident. The legal driving limit in Ohio is 0.08 percent. In addition to alcohol in his bloodstream, there was evidence of marijuana and Valium, Mr. Mulligan said.

Authorities said Mr. Woody admitted to drinking two seven-dollar beers at Cedar Point before 2 p.m. that day. Investigators found nine full, unopened cans of beer in the wreckage of the Blazer but no empty cans.

Mr. Mulligan said accident reconstructionists determined that Mr. Woody attempted to leave the scene before his vehicle, which only had three wheels, became disabled.

Mr. Woody, his family, and his attorney, Adrian Cimerman, declined comment before and after yesterday s hearing.

Through his attorney, Mr. Woody waived the reading of the indictment and entered not guilty pleas as his mother, father, and aunt consoled one another. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 29, and a trial date was set for June 6.

Mr. Mulligan said he normally would have asked for a $250,000 bond in such a case. However, he asked for a $50,000 bond because Mr. Woody has not fled knowing the seriousness of the accident, had a valid driver s license at the time of the accident, has only minor prior traffic offenses, and contacted Mr. Cimerman within days of the accident.

Judge Moon agreed with the bond amount and set three conditions on Mr. Woody: He is not permitted to drive or consume alcohol and he has a curfew at his residence from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. If Mr. Woody becomes employed, he must contact the probation department to modify the conditions, the judge said.

Relatives of the crash victims could not be reached for comment last night.

Contact Christina Hall atchall@theblade.comor 419-724-6007.



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