A man convicted of driving recklessly in connection to a fatal accident in 2012 is to spend four years in prison.
Bryan P. Waldock, 26, of Bloomville, was sentenced by Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff Thursday afternoon.
The accident at US 224 and CR 23 Sept. 29, 2012, claimed the life of Joshua Collins, 19, of Willard, and injured passengers David Tripp, 11, and Johni Hamons, 15, both of Republic.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Cheri Collins, whose son, Josh, was killed in an accident in 2012, reads a statement during Bryan P. Waldock’s sentencing hearing Thursday.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Bryan P. Waldock, 26, of Bloomville, listens after being sentenced by Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff Thursday.
A jury had found Waldock guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony, and aggravated vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony. He was found not guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony, and aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony.
Waldock was sentenced to 48 months on one count and 16 months on the other, and the prison terms are to be served concurrently. He is to be given credit for one day of jail time he already served.
Shuff also suspended his license for seven years on one count and five years on the other. Those also are to be served concurrently.
Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine explained Waldock's history with speeding citations and underage possession, failure to control and underage operating a vehicle while intoxicated charges. Waldock also previously had been charged with persistent disorderly and providing a false statement.
DeVine said people seated behind him in the courtroom wanted, wished and prayed for the same thing, that the crash had not happened. Everybody wishes the two trucks had not met, he said.
"What we have before us is tragic for everybody," he said.
Some people who attended the hearing wore shirts stating "JUSTICE FOR JOSH."
Several people who knew Collins spoke about him.
They described him as a caring, smart and well-mannered man who always was concerned about others. He graduated with honors from Seneca East High School in 2012 and enrolled in a community college to become a physical therapist.
Cheri Collins, Josh's mother, said a part of her died the day her son was taken from her. She said her son's life was just beginning.
"My son's life was ruined (and) was taken from him. I get to visit my son at a cemetery. Mr. Waldock has ruined a lot of lives," she said.
Bill Collins, Collins' father, said his son committed no crime, but paid the ultimate price for Waldock's crimes.
"Ignorance, arrogance and stupidity cost my son his life," he said.
Waldock's attorney, Dean Henry, said there are issues that remain unsolved. It is a bad intersection, it was dark and there was lack of evidence of what the other vehicle was doing, he said.
Henry said Waldock had serious errors in judgment.
"He is accepting responsibility for what he has done," he said.
Waldock apologized to Josh's family.
"I'm sorry about that night and what happened and the loss that you guys had to suffer, and that loss has gone both ways, and I have no way of imagining what you guys have actually dealt with," he said.
William Dunbar of Custom Agri Systems Inc., Waldock's employer, spoke in support of Waldock and requested some work release so Waldock could support his son and continue growing in his career.
"He's been an excellent employee," he said.
Eric Gillett, who said he has known Waldock's grandparents for many years, said Waldock was a hard worker during his years at Seneca East and was involved in athletics and 4-H. He obtained a journeyman's card and is a respected electrician, he said.
"Bryan is an engaged and caring father," he said.