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Fatal turnpike crash gets man 3 years probation

Corrected version: Sentence given has been updated.

Michael R. French, Jr., the 38-year-old truck driver who caused a fatal crash Feb. 18 on the Ohio Turnpike, was sentenced Thursday in Perrysburg Municipal Court to 30 days in jail and three years probation. The jail time was suspended if he completes probation successfully.

Judge Molly Mack also fined Mr. French $750, suspended his driver’s license, and ordered him to undergo counseling.

Mr. French of Pleasant Prairie, Wisc., pleaded guilty in April to vehicular manslaughter. The truck he was driving struck the rear of a sport-utility vehicle in Lake Township killing the SUV’s driver, John E. Madden, 67, of Fremont.

Judge Mack called the accident tragic, noting Mr. French was not speeding, texting, under the influence of alcohol, or on his phone. Mr. French reached for a water bottle while driving and didn’t see stopped traffic until it was too late.

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