Driver in Thanksgiving Day crash unable to stand trial

Man's vehicle speeding at more than 125 mph on Ohio Turnpike when it crashed into back of couple's minivan, causing fiery wreck that killed them.
MCT Regional News
Mar 13, 2014
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The Kent, Ohio man charged with killing a Toledo couple in a fiery Thanksgiving Day crash on the Ohio Turnpike was declared incompetent to stand trial during a hearing in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court.

Andrew Gans, 24, will be transferred to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo, said his attorney Terrence Rudes of Port Clinton. Mr. Rudes said the court ruling on Tuesday was based on the results of a court-ordered evaluation of Mr. Gans' mental health.

“There will be another evaluation in 90 days. If they can't restore him to competence in a year the state can seek a civil commitment, which means he would continue to reside at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital,” Mr. Rudes said.

Mr. Gans is charged with causing the Nov. 28 crash in Rice Township that killed Wilbur and Margaret McCoy of Toledo.

Authorities said his vehicle was speeding at more than 125 mph on the Ohio Turnpike when it struck the McCoys’ minivan, and Mr. Gans told police he had been drinking before the crash.

He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide during his arraignment last year. For each of the two victims, Mr. Gans faces two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, including counts for recklessness and for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to Mr. Rudes, Mr. Gans has a history of psychiatric problems going back to his younger years, when he had a couple of brain surgeries to remove a cyst or a tumor. His client had been hospitalized for psychiatric care more than once prior to the fatal crash and had been prescribed medication. Mr. Rudes said he did not know if Mr. Gans was taking it at the time.

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