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Driver who caused crash that killed 2 imprisoned

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Hamrick

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VAN WERT, Ohio - A Willshire, Ohio, man was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday for colliding head-on with another vehicle the day after Christmas in 2004, killing two people and injuring a third person.

Carey Hamrick, 42, was sentenced in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court for causing the Dec. 26, 2004, accident on State Rt. 49 near Willshire and then fleeing the scene.

Killed instantly were Brian Shug, 26, of Willshire and Will Wolfe, 26, of Rockford, Ohio. Rachel Wolfe, the wife of Will Wolfe, suffered severe injuries and was flown to a Fort Wayne, Ind., hospital.

Hamrick was convicted Nov. 16 of failing to stop at the scene of an accident, two counts of misdemeanor vehicular homicide, and one count of misdemeanor assault. He withdrew his guilty plea in January, citing a medical condition that may have caused him to black out, but on April 6 he pleaded no contest.

A Van Wert County sheriff's deputies said Hamrick was driving south when he went left of center, striking a vehicle head-on.

Deputies said that after striking the Wolfe vehicle, Hamrick ran from his pickup. He turned himself in early the next day

Prior to sentencing, Hamrick addressed the surviving victim and the families of the deceased victims, saying he realizes he caused much pain. "I know you went through a lot," Hamrick said, "and I'm so sorry from the bottom of my heart."

Rachel Wolfe told Hamrick she could not understand why he waited seven hours to turn himself in. "I'm not here to tell the judge or you, or whoever, what sentence you should get," she said. "That is not up to me to decide; that is for God to decide."

Elmyra Wolfe, mother of Will Wolfe, also spoke to Hamrick, saying she found it hard to forgive the man who killed her son.

"Part of my heart is gone, it is ripped from my chest. How do you forgive something like that," she said.

Hamrick's employer described him as a dedicated employee who had compassion and that he would keep his job open for him. In addition to prison, Judge Charles Steele suspended Hamrick's driver's license for five years, the maximum he could impose.

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