Driver gets 2-year license suspension for incident that caused severe head injury

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:06 PM

An Akron man was sentenced Tuesday to 75 days in jail for a summer incident when his friend was seriously injured after falling off the hood of the defendant’s vehicle.

Dane R. Lenhart, 21, pleaded guilty Nov. 20 to vehicular assault in exchange for the state dismissing one count of aggravated vehicular assault. On Tuesday, he had his driver’s license suspended for two years. Lenhart also was ordered to pay $16,800 in restitution as part of his five years of probation.

On July 28, Lenhart was driving on Hanville Corners Road near North Fairfield when he got into an argument with his friend, Norwalk Law Director Stuart O’Hara said at the time. After Lenhart stopped his car, his 22-year-old passenger got out and jumped onto the hood. O’Hara said Lenhart started driving and then slammed on his brakes, throwing the passenger off the hood.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said Lenhart’s friend was “injured pretty bad,” resulting in “major head trauma” and now has no memory of the incident.

After the victim fell, Lenhart put him into his car and started driving toward Mercy Hospital of Willard.

The driver called 9-1-1 while heading south on Ohio 99. He requested an ambulance for his unconscious passenger who “was bleeding profusely from his head,” police and sheriff’s dispatchers wrote.

A medical helicopter flew the victim from Willard to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. The man first was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit, but he later was upgraded to serious.

State troopers charged Lenhart with driving under the influence of alcohol after his blood alcohol content level was tested at .087.

Leffler said Lenhart is supposed to report to the jail June 1 because he is attending the University of Akron.

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