Driver in crash gets 3-year sentence
A Columbus man was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for recklessly causing a crash that killed one person and seriously injured another on New Year’s Eve 2015.
The Columbus Dispatch reports Daniel P. Merz, 24, pleaded guilty in August to aggravated vehicular homicide in the death of Brandon J. Sega, 25, and vehicular assault for injuries to Jason Lonnemann, 24.
The sentence was imposed by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Guy Reece, who also suspended Merz’s driver’s license for life and fined him $10,000. Merz will serve five years of probation when he is released from prison.
Merz was speeding as he drove north on Riverside Drive and ran a red light at Nottingham Road, colliding with a Toyota Camry about 9:15 p.m. Dec. 31, 2015. Lonnemann was driving the Camry and Sega was a backseat passenger.
Data recovered from Merz’s car showed that he was driving 78 mph before the crash. No alcohol or illegal drugs were found in his system, but psychologists found that Merz suffered from severe mental illness and hadn’t been taking his medication.