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Hit-and-run driver to serve 3 years for death of woman

Wire • Sep 7, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Standing before a courtroom full of family and supporters, Joseph Posadny was handcuffed and led away to prison Tuesday after being sentenced for recklessly causing the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian.

Posadny, 51, of Temperance, was sentenced in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to three years in prison for causing the Aug. 13, 2010, death of Angel Wells, who was crossing the street on Alexis Road near Bennett Road when she was struck.

Judge Frederick McDonald also ordered the suspension of Posadny's driver's license for 15 years.

The judge said he received 19 letters from family and friends of Posadny, and each painted him as a decent, hard-working family man.

"However, he recklessly caused the death of a 28-year-old woman," Judge McDonald said, noting that Posadny fled the scene and that alcohol was involved.

"I feel incarceration is necessary to [punish] this defendant and to deter others as well," the judge added.

Posadny pleaded no contest and was found guilty July 29 of one count each of aggravated vehicular homicide and failure to stop after a crash. His sentence was two years in prison for the vehicular homicide count consecutive to a year for failing to stop.

Authorities said Ms. Wells -- who had worked for Piccadilly West Apartments, 434 Alexis Rd., and had been showing a prospective tenant an apartment that day -- was thrown more than 100 feet when she was struck by Posadny's vehicle about 4:30 p.m. while crossing the street in a designated crosswalk. Posadny, who failed to stop for a red light when he struck Ms. Wells, fled but was found shortly afterward with a damaged vehicle, authorities said.

The judge said Posadny passed a field sobriety test when he was arrested, but an alcohol urinalysis test administered about four hours later showed a 0.17 percent alcohol content. The judge further noted that in this type of test, 0.11 percent is the limit in Ohio.

Under the negotiated plea, Judge McDonald dismissed a higher felony level of the vehicular homicide charge, which included alcohol as a contributing factor. Posadny apologized to both the victim's family and his own. He said he feels remorse, but "it goes way beyond that."

"I wish I could take that moment back, but I can't. God knows that," he said in a halting voice.

Lawyer Pete Wagener described Posadny as a "real person" who goes to work, spends time with his family, and is occasionally involved in an outdoor sportsman activity. He said the punishment imposed by the court would not compare to the "self-punishment" Posadny has bestowed upon himself.

Assistant County Prosecutor Mark Herr made no statements in court before sentencing. He said afterward that Ms. Wells' family did not want to attend the hearing but asked to be notified of the sentence.


By Erica Blake - The Blade, Toledo (MCT)

(c) 2011 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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