Driver convicted of manslaughter

A jury found a Norwalk man guilty Wednesday of vehicular manslaughter in the Feb. 2 head-on collision that killed New London resident Nicole L. Osterland. The five women and three men deliberated about two hours before convicting Brian K. Wilson, 40, of 4677 Ohio 601, of vehicular manslaughter. He faces up to 90 days in the Huron County Jail, a $750 fine and a three-year driver's license suspension when he is sentenced Sept. 25. Norwalk Law Director Stuart O'Hara said he will get input from Osterland's family before formulating a recommendation.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010


A jury found a Norwalk man guilty Wednesday of vehicular manslaughter in the Feb. 2 head-on collision that killed New London resident Nicole L. Osterland.

The five women and three men deliberated about two hours before convicting Brian K. Wilson, 40, of 4677 Ohio 601, of vehicular manslaughter. He faces up to 90 days in the Huron County Jail, a $750 fine and a three-year driver's license suspension when he is sentenced Sept. 25. Norwalk Law Director Stuart O'Hara said he will get input from Osterland's family before formulating a recommendation.

Osterland, 27, was heading southeast on U.S. 250 between Norwalk and Olena when her Ford pickup truck collided with Wilson's 2006 International tractor-trailer. Witnesses, including state troopers, in the Norwalk Municipal Court trial testified it had been snowing and the wind was blowing, causing "white-out" conditions.

"Miss Osterland was operating her vehicle in her lane of travel with no problem," O'Hara said, saying Wilson went left of center.

"She died as a result of the injuries she received. This is truly a tragic case," O'Hara told the jury in his opening statement.

"The only traffic offense they'll say (Wilson) committed was traveling left of center," defense attorney Curtis Koch said about O'Hara's case.

Koch presented no witnesses during the 2 1/2 hour trial. He said there was a "compromised crime scene" because fire trucks and ambulances possibly obscured the tracks from the collision and accused witnesses of not being sure Wilson crossed the center line.

Motorist Kimberly Alley followed Wilson's semi from Ashland on her way to Toledo and was the second vehicle behind the truck when the crash happened about 3:45 p.m. She testified patches of snow had blown onto the road.

"I had no problem driving," Alley said. "You could definitely tell where the lanes were supposed to be."

She testified Wilson was able to negotiate U.S. 250 until the collision and right before the crash, he crossed the center line twice and straightened his truck the first time.

"I recall seeing the semi begin to swerve. ... He did go over the yellow line," Alley said. "It looked like it (Wilson's cab) was three-quarters into the (opposite) lane.

"The pickup flew off the road," she said.

Steve Lafountain directly followed Wilson's truck all the way from Ashland. He said the semi "started swerving slightly" once and then went "half to three-quarters" into Ostlerland's lane.

"It went clearly on the other side," added Lafountain, who described the weather as "more drifting, than snowing."

Trooper Montei Sexton of the state Highway Patrol's Norwalk post was the investigating officer. He said he arrived at site about 20 minutes after the collision, having been advised by patrol dispatcher it "was probably a fatality."

Osterland's truck was off the left side of U.S. 250 when Sexton arrived. The trooper testified the woman was in the back seat of the extended cab, "not making any movements."

Wilson was outside of his tractor-trailer when Sexton got there. "He said he felt the trailer was being moved" and the collision happened when he looked into his mirror, the trooper testified.

Sexton said he saw the semi's tire tracks and various vehicle fluids in places on the road that were consistent with a head-on collision. The trooper also saw the hood to Wilson's truck in Osterland's lane.

"There was small debris pretty much everywhere," he added.

Osterland, who was born in Norwalk, lived her entire life in the New London area. The 1998 New London High School graduate worked as a lab technician in quality control at Polyone in Norwalk.


davey mcdrunken...

don't drink and drive, drive to wwII and drink till you pee your pants

saddened (Anonymous)

What a sad story for all of the families. I feel bad for everyone involved here.

reader (Anonymous)

I didnt read where he was drinking....was he????

WoW (Anonymous)

Thats a heck of a charge to carry around for the rest of your life. I doubt he ment to have a accident that day. It was a accident! We all take our eyes off the road from time to time Check gagues, Check traffic behind us, Watching intersections. Truley a sad story. I myself try to stay off 250 as much as possable. I wish it was a 4 lane with the traffic it gets. No disrespect to the young ladys family. But that was a harsh charge.

Hold the judges...

Brian k. wilson has had many serious traffic violations in the past including 4 drunk driving charges one of the was a hit skip dui. and every time the courts/judges have let him of very lightly granting him driving privligages every time even though his licences were suspened by the state for the crimes. Here is a judgement entry from his fourth drunk driving charge just a year and half before the fatal accident THIS CAUSE CAME ON TO BE HEARD ON THE 19TH DAY OF
SUSPENSION. that was ordered by judge ridge after he was already convicted of 3 previous dui's. Thats right he orderd that he could still drive a full size tractor trailer while his licence were under SUSPENSION for his fourth dui. Mabey the judges and courts should have some liability in the death of this innocent young women.

wake up everyon...

It states below in the judges entry that THE COURT FINDS FROM THE INFORMATION RECEIVED THAT DEFENDATN SHOULD BE GRANTED DRIVING PRIVILEGES. Now i am assuming that the information that was provided was from his defense lawyers.
Where was the prosocuters with there information proving this was his fourth drunk driving charge and objecting to the defenses motion for driving privlages. I once again am assuming that the prosocuters did not present any because if they did any judge should have never granted him any driving privlages at all. and if they did present the evidence then why did the judge still allow this man to drive? From the evidence that i read it was more than enough to not only deny his right to drive while under suspention but to take away his driving privlages for years before he killed someone.

OK (Anonymous)

But was he drunk during this accident?

unknown (Anonymous)

It is sad for both family. His trailer was empty. He was not driking and driving. In the Driving report last DUI was 10 years ago. He will live with the hardship for the rest of his life, and the family Miss Osterland.

these are the f...

I dont know what driving report you read but his most recent drunk driving charge was 8-22-2005 that was his fourth dui charge the others were 3-17-1997 charged with dui,left of center, and driving under suspention and no seatbelt.3-4-1996 charged with dui, hit skip, and failure to control. 9-26-94 charged with dui and no motorcycle licences.
and as far as if he was drunk when he crossed the lane and killed nicole i dont know that, but my point is he should have never been allowed to drive leagally after he proved himself that he is a repeat offender and will not obey traffic laws. If he was drinking he had at least 20 mins before the state patrol got on scene time enough to mask the smell or apperance of any signs of imparied driving.


I just want to ask the person who thinks this sentence was a little to much....what if it was your wife, daughter, mother, sister that didn't come home because of a poor decision. Driving is a privilage, not a right..there are laws and he broke those driving laws...I don't care if everyone looks away from time to time, when behind the wheel of a car you are responsible not only for yourself but for others aswell....I know it was a accident but I hope others learn from this but I doubt they will. He got what he got because he broke the law thats as simple as it gets. Everyone would feel differently if it directly effected them.

Missing Nicole ...

Nicole was a friend to me, I miss her. I am glad the court deemed responsibility but I feel that a slap on the wrist is small in significance to the fact that her child will miss out on so many things with MOM ... Love and Prayers to Nicole's family and friends who miss her dearly.

WoW (Anonymous)

Actually I thought the sentence was light. I thought the charge was harsh. It sounded like a accident if it happened as described. As for the past DUI charges, Sounds like he served his time for those. I'd say that's on the judge for letting him drive.

freebird (Anonymous)

its a tragic event that we see every year in the paper, i can recall at least a dozen semi crashes in the last 10 yrs on that stretch of road. think the highway department should investigate in ways to stop the drifting snow in the winter, one pine tree might save a life. as for brian wilson, you cant convict people on a past offense unless he was drinking and driving. then i would say throw the book at him.
my sympathy for all families involved

tough case (Ano...

It's a tough case, the only reason why this went to court was because Osterland died - I certainly don't mean any disrespect to her family, I know how it feels to lose a loved one unexpectedly. Had she not died, the two insurance companies would have fought it out because of the bad weather conditions. Sentencing is going to be a tough call for the judge and the families (yes, familie"S").

to: these are ...

20 minutes is not enough time to sober up if he was indeed drinking and driving, all you are doing is speculating based on his priors. I'm sure we can all be rest assured that the Ohio State Trooper checked him out for D&D!

OK (Anonymous)

You all can rest assured if he was driving a Com. Truck he was taken to a hospital for a uren and or blood test and it looks like he tested clean or the story would have reported diffrently. So I think its safe to say we can put the drinking issue to rest. No one is picking on the poor girl about her poor driving record. Its on the norwalk muni court site.

Update on loser...

After futer review of brian k wilsons driving history i found that he was also charged with drunk driving twice in sandusky once in 1988 and once in 1996. The 1996 charge came just 7 months after his 1996 charge in norwalk with him getting 20 days in jail. his 1988 charge in sandusky came after he was pulled over for reckless operation. There could be many more in other citys and countys that i am not aware of but just in erie and huron county only he has 6 prior drunk driving charges at hit skip while he was drunk and a reckless operation charge. This guy should have lost his driving privlages long before he killed someone weather he was drunk or not when he killed her/ let only be able to drive a commerical semi.He proved that no matter what his punishment might be he will not stop drinking and driving. I would feel the same way even if he did not cause a fatal accident.

Hey (Anonymous)

So what's any of this have to do the events that happened that day? He had driving privileges. Osterland's driving record was a mess too, and she had less time to get it that way. This was just a accident. A terrible accident!!

I cant believe ...

What it has to do with this event is that he should have not had driving privlages at all. After that many dui's a hit skip while drunk and reckless op while drunk he just should not have been to legally be on the road driving. The courts should have made the right decison and not allowed that. Yes the young lady did have a bad driving record but the worst thing on her driving record is speeding 13 miles over the speed limit and they took her driving privlages away from her for speeding took her car her tags gave her 2 years probation, but everytime brian wilson got a dui the judge gave him permision to drive. He even got one of the dui's droped in sandusky court just because he lived out of town and could not make it to court now that is not justice. The court system needs to be held to some accountabilty.

Hello (Anonymous)

The wind blew the trailer to the east causing the tractor to move to the west. Its a shame are state cant take more care of its roads

give it up alre...

Obviosly the last poster must be mentally challanged if she/he thinks that the wind has anything to do with this guy even being allowed to drive. This must be his mom or some relitive or friend tring to take to his offense.. Get real grow up and tell him to take responsabillty.

Re: Give it up....

Road conditions could have in fact plays "some" roll in the accident. And the wind can and will move an empty trailer on slick roads. Add snow drifts and I could see how the truck driver might think something was wrong with the trailer. Unfortunately there is no place on 250 to pull over and check. His only option was to look for a place to pull over and check it. Looks like the bypass would be the next closest place. I can assure you if most of us seen a 20,000 lbs truck coming at us we all would try to do something!! What action did the girl take to avoid the accident? Was she watching the road? Did she have time? Could she have slowed? Did she try to stop? Could she have taken the ditch? Sure it would have trashed her car but she'd be alive today. Regardless of what this man gets the family will never be happy with the sentence. We can't bring her back, So what is it the family wants? Money? I doubt this guy has much of that. Justice.. Well I guess you got that. And before you get your panties in a bunch I'm not defending the truck driver at all. He made a mistake and he'll pay for it just like he has in the past. I just want to know what the family and friends expect to get from this.

Hey (Anonymous)

I see so... Your saying the court system failed and he should not have been driving? Therefore the accident would not have happened. I get it. Well if that's the case the family's going after the wrong person. I'm not sure how to go about going to get the law changed. Perhaps someone could direct them in the right direction. The prosecutor may be able help them out somehow to get the ball rolling. I'll go along with that. I think the laws have changed in the past 3-4 years. I think you loose you CDL for life for DUI. But that wouldn't apply to this truck driver.

just to let eve...

Just to let everyone know i am the poster complaing about brian wilson driving i dont not know eaither brian wilson or the lady that got killed i have never meet eaither one of them i dont know anyone that knows them i never even knew about the accident until i read it in the reflector. So everyone that thinks i am family or a friend i am not i am just someone that is sick and tired of the court system letting everyone off the hook. If i was the family i would be going after the court system for not keeping this guy off the road. as far as the wind causeing the accident it may be that was the cause of the accident but this guy should have not had the oppertunity to cause a accident with his past record. And as to the lady that got killed i will say that she might have lived if she would have had her seatbelt on she obvisily did not if the state patrol said she was in the back of the extened cab truck, but thats where his lawyer should have come in and argueed that even though he might have crossed the line causeing the accident she was actually the one that caused her death by also not follwing the law by wearing her seatbelt then that might have opened up the possibility of him being convicted of a leser charge say mabey involentary vehicualr assult not manslaughter mabey they could have collected the black box in the truck and checked it to see how fast she was going at impact and if she had suddunly eccelerated before impact just checked for any evidence at all that would have proved she was also driving recklessly and if eveidence did show that she was speeding then they could have used her previos driving record with 6 prior speeding convictions to prove she also didnt follow laws and could have also played a role in causeng her death. but it seems like the defense did not do much to try and get he aqquitted of the charges not even calling one single wittness.

Hey (Anonymous)

This was the criminal trial I'm sure there will be a civil trial also. That's where the money factor will kick in. Depending on the year and make there may or my not be a black box in the vehicle. I see 3 at fault here, The truck driver the lady (Yes I believe she was at some fault) Seatbelts do save lives, and the Ohio ODOT Good luck trying to get money out of the State I don't see that happening. Is the family entitled to some money, Sure, (1) I think there entitled to what her life insurance was $10,000 -$100,000 (Who would know what her life's worth more than her?) (2) The max of what the truckers insurance was, what ever is greater. Deduct the % of her liability and that should be a realistic number. A Huron County jury has already determined what a life was worth $600,000.00 State of Ohio vs. Efaw ( And this was a child ) I would think this would set some precedent and a good starting point. Deduct the % of her liability and you should have the magic number. It could be settled out of court and save money on lawyers Fee's! This is just my thought on this. Anyone else have anything?

swiss family......

Iam somewhat disappointed .. i thought for sure that there would be some bleeding heart liberal on here crying for the semi driver , saying that he " made a mistake" and that " no one's perfect " and how they know alot of other people who were more drunk than this guy was and they got away with it !!! well ...WWWAAAAAAAAAAA.... comeone .. if this guy was drunk and involved id this kind of collision . then get him off the roads and behind bars where he belongs !!

get the fact fi...

the driver was not drinking or doing drugs

bigniggacock (A...

burn in hell

bigniggacock (A...

brian wilson likes it anal

swiss family (A...

sure I'm disappointed, after all I'M the bleeding heart liberal your mother warned you about. dee dee dee