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Published: Friday, 9/1/2006

Canadian trucker gets prison term in fatal crash

WAUSEON A Canadian truck driver was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for aggravated vehicular homicide in a crash in December that killed a 21-year-old eastern Fulton County woman and her unborn child.

Michael J. Welch, 38, of Duns ford, Ont., was booked into the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker after he was sentenced in Fulton County Common Pleas Court by Judge James Barber. The judge could have sentenced him to up to five years in prison.

Welch tried to pass a car on U.S. 20A near Fulton County Road 5-2, returned to the westbound driving lane because of oncoming traffic, and hit the car in which Nicole Koder was a passenger.

The impact forced the westbound car driven by Mrs. Koder s husband, Nathan, into the eastbound lane where it was struck by an eastbound car driven by Susan Garcia of Toledo, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Mrs. Koder was pronounced dead at the scene. Attempts were made to save her unborn child, but the child was pronounced dead at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Mr. Koder and Ms. Garcia were hospitalized. With the Koders was their infant daughter, Alexis, who was not hurt seriously.

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