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Trucker fined $1,000 in fiery, fatal crash on Ohio 13

Cary Ashby • Mar 17, 2019 at 6:00 AM

A tractor-trailer driver convicted for his role in a 2016 fatal traffic accident had his driver’s license suspended for five years.

In addition, William E. Brindle, 64, of Athens, received a $1,000 fine and was placed on three years of probation while being sentenced by Judge Jim Conway on Thursday in Huron County Common Pleas Court.

During a January plea hearing, prosecutors dismissed three felonies — aggravated vehicular homicide and two charges of vehicular assault — plus one count of vehicular manslaughter, a second-degree misdemeanor, in exchange for Brindle pleading guilty to vehicular homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The fiery crash happened Nov. 17, 2016 on Ohio 13 near Fitchville.

Zachary T. Warner, 34, of Bucyrus, died two days later at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

Warner was one of three men — all working for Oberlanders Tree & Landscape Ltd. of Bucyrus — who were seriously injured in the accident. His co-workers went to separate hospitals, but eventually recovered.

Two Oberlanders vehicles were parked in the northbound lanes of Ohio 13, just north of U.S. 224. A flagger was in place behind the vehicles just before 11 a.m. Nov. 17, 2016.

Warner and his two co-workers were standing near the vehicles, getting ready to trim evergreens along the power lines. Troopers with the Norwalk post of the state Highway Patrol have said the northbound commercial tractor-trailer driven by Brindle failed to stop and hit the two vehicles and three men.

Upon impact, the semi caught fire and eventually was destroyed.

Brindle, who lived in Ashland at the time, sustained non-life threatening injuries. North Central EMS transported him to Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

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