Created on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 Written by NATE SMITH
Injured bicyclists seek reduced charge
A motorist charged with striking a husband and wife with his vehicle while they were bicycling near Benjamin Logan Schools and fleeing the scene of that crash dropped his not guilty plea Monday in Logan County Common Pleas Court.
Nathaniel R. Gregg, 33, of Bellefontaine, pleaded no contest and was found guilty by Judge Mark S. O’Connor of two counts of negligent assault, third-degree misdemeanors, and leaving the scene of a crash, a first-degree misdemeanor.
The defendant was driving his car westbound on State Route 47 near Township Road 126 about 10:50 a.m. Aug. 7 when he struck Steven L. Stout, 61, and his wife Penny, 58, of rural Bellefontaine, who were pedaling westbound on S.R. 47.
Both victims had to be transported to Mary Rutan Hospital for incapacitating injuries. Mr. Stout sustained a fractured skull and Mrs. Stout was severely bruised all over her body, prosecutors report.
Upon hitting the Stouts, Mr. Gregg fled the scene.
He turned himself in to deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office about five hours later. He arrived at the sheriff’s office and reported that he was involved in a crash on S.R. 47 earlier that day.
The defendant’s vehicle was seized at that time and a search warrant was obtained. Law enforcement concluded a side mirror recovered at the scene came from Mr. Gregg’s vehicle.
However, a blood test revealed no alcohol or drugs in the defendant’s system, and he wasn’t taking a call or sending a text message at the time of the crash, either, phone records show.
The defendant was initially charged with two felony counts of vehicular assault, and another felony count of leaving the scene, because the Stouts were injured in the crash.
Prosecutors are recommending 60 days in the Logan County Jail when the defendant is sentenced Nov. 18. His driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months.
Logan County Prosecutors note Mr. and Mrs. Stout were agreeable to the plea deal, and that they specifically requested the defendant not be saddled with a felony. The husband and wife became acquainted with Mr. Gregg after he apologized for his poor judgment during a face-to-face meeting following the incident.
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