Bascom man gets six months in jail for fatal crash

A man whom a jury found guilty of vehicular homicide was sentenced Friday to six months in jail.

Kevin T. Wertz, 22, of Bascom, who had been indicted on a third-degree felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, but was found guilty of the lesser, first-degree misdemeanor charge this week, was handed down the sentence Friday afternoon by Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley.

Prior to the announcement of his sentence, Wertz apologized to the family of 20-year-old Jacob Hohman, who died as a result of the October 2012 crash on TR 71A.

“I understand saying sorry may seem worthless but at this time, it’s all I can offer,” Wertz said.

“I’m truly sorry for the pain and suffering,” he also told the family.

Wertz was the driver of a pickup truck that rolled onto its top after he lost control and struck a ditch. Wertz had failed to yield for a stop sign prior to losing control. Alcohol and speed were factors in the crash, according to the State Highway Patrol.

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

Terrence Rudes, Wertz’s attorney, told Kelbley that Wertz had been traumatized by the incident. Rudes also described Wertz to Kelbley as a responsible and consciousness young man.

Libra Martin, Seneca County Victim Assistance Director, read several letters from friends of Hohman Friday prior to the announcement of Wertz’s sentence. Many described Hohman as quiet, funny, respectful and a good friend. Hohman’s mother, Rebecca Hohman, also spoke. She asked Kelbley to impose a six-month jail sentence, which was the maximum.

“He was one of a kind,” Rebecca said of Jacob. “He was very loved and admired by many.”

“The defendant has taken away from me my beautiful boy,” she also told Kelbley.

Kelbley also imposed a five-year license suspension and a $1,000 fine Friday.