Bascom man found guilty in fatal crash

A jury has found a Bascom man guilty of vehicular homicide in connection to the death of 20-year-old Jacob Hohman.

Kevin T. Wertz, 22, who had been indicted on a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony, was found guilty of the lesser charge Wednesday morning following a jury trial that lasted two days.

Wertz is to be sentenced Friday on the first-degree misdemeanor charge.

Wertz was the driver of a pickup truck that crashed on TR 71A, just south of CR 1, during the early morning hours of Oct. 27, 2012. The truck overturned on its top after Wertz lost control and struck a ditch after failing to yield for a stop sign.

Hohman, who was a passenger in the pickup truck, died that evening at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

According to testimony at the trial, Hohman died of an accidental drowning. A witness said Monday that prior to being pulled out of the truck, it appeared Hohman had been sitting in water. Wertz’s attorney argued that Hohman, who had been intoxicated, inhaled vomit. Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine told the jury that according to the autopsy, the fluid in Hohman’s lungs was clear.

The State Patrol said alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.