Bellefontaine Examiner

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Prosecutors drop three of five charges in fatal Aug. 11 crash

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An expert toxicologist has told the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office there is no evidence to indicate Christian Fisher’s ability to drive was impaired in an Aug. 11 fatal crash that claimed the life of motorcyclist Charles S. Carpenter.

The information has led the prosecutor’s office to drop three of five charges filed against Mr. Fischer, 29, of 9476 County Road 153, East Liberty

Dr. John F. Wyman, the chief toxicologist for Cuyahoga County, examined test results of blood samples taken from Mr. Fischer less than four hours after the crash on U.S. Route 68 at the U.S. Route 33 interchange.

Prosecutors originally thought test results showed Mr. Fischer was substantially under the influence of marijuana and it was enough to impair his driving.

Dr. Wyman wrote in a letter, “The presence of (THC-A) in Mr. Fischer’s blood is only indicative of past exposure to marijuana. Mr. Fischer was not under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.”

THC-A is a non active metabolite or residual of THC, the psychoactive drug in marijuana.

Furthermore, the forensic toxicologist said the amount of butalbital, a sedative/hypnotic drug commonly found in migraine medicine, was a typical therapeutic amount and it is not possible to determine if it impaired Mr. Fischer’s ability to drive.

Prosecutors have dropped charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony; aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony; and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, a first-degree misdemeanor.

All three charges would have required prosecutors to prove Mr. Fischer was impaired at the time of the crash, a factor the evidence does not support.

However, Mr. Fischer still faces charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony; and aggravated vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony as prosecutors believe they can show he acted reckless which resulted in Mr. Carpenter’s death and serious injuries to his passenger  Cathy L. Goodyear, 41.

According to officers of the Bellefontaine Police Department, the defendant turned south from the U.S. Route 33 ramp onto southbound U.S. Route 68 and reached for a dropped cigarette and lighter.

His sport utility vehicle crossed over into the northbound lanes and struck Mr. Carpenter’s motorcycle around 2:45 p.m. Aug. 11.

The 39-year-old Galion man and Ms. Goodyear, also of Galion, were flown by LifeFlight to Grant Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

She was treated for a leg fracture, broken ribs and a number of internal injuries.

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