A local man was sentenced recently in Defiance Municipal Court in a case involving the traffic death of a local man.
Fabian Aguilar, 33, 401 W. High St., was fined $500 by Judge John Rohrs III on a charge of vehicular homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor, given 60 days in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio with all but two days allowed to be served on electronic home monitoring while his operator’s license was suspended for two years (from Dec. 15).
He also was ordered to make $1,825 restitution to the victim’s family and provide 250 hours of community service work in memory of the victim.
The judge imposed a $25 fine on a charge of left of center, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Aguilar previously had pleaded no contest to the charges — filed by the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Defiance post — and found guilty by Rohrs before a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.
The charges alleged that on Feb. 21, 2020, Aguilar’s vehicle was southbound on Ohio 111, just north of Hammersmith Road and south of Defiance, when it went left of center on a curve and struck a pickup driven by Rex Wimmer, 75, Defiance.
Wimmer later died from his injuries at Toledo Hospital.
Aguilar also was injured and taken to ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital.
The defendant’s attorney, E. Charles Bates of Defiance, told The Crescent-News that the sentencing was “very emotional,” while Aguilar had written Wimmer’s family a letter expressing his sorrow. He read the letter aloud during the sentencing hearing in municipal court.
“Fabian is a very nice guy; he’s taken it very seriously to heart,” explained Bates. “He never meant to harm anyone. The family of the deceased was very gracious. They were rightfully very upset at the beginning. They realized it was just that — an accident — and it could happen to anyone. ... The judge did his best to fashion a sentence that took all that into consideration.”
“It’s the toughest (kind of) case I have to have in my court because it’s a misdemeanor, but it involves the death of another,” Rohrs said. “I always explain to the people there are a lot of different degrees of vehicular homicide. ... Basically it’s a tragic accident, and I always tell them, but for the grace of God go you or I. It could happen to any of us.”
Asked what caused the crash, Bates noted: “(Aguilar) said he was adjusting his radio” and “didn’t realize he had drifted” left of center on a curve.
Rohrs noted that Aguilar had been enrolled in an Ohio peace officer’s academy training program when the crash occurred. Although he was seriously injured and required some recovery time, Aguilar completed the course, according to Rohrs.