Wisconsin man waive speedy trial in October highway fatality


LIMA — A Wisconsin man indicted this month by an Allen County grand jury on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide for causing a fatal traffic accident earlier this year that left a passenger in his vehicle dead has waived his right to a speedy trial.

Lance J. Ward, 25, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday to waive his constitutional right to a speedy trial. Ward was indicted last week on the second-degree felony aggravated vehicular homicide charge in addition to two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, both first-degree misdemeanors.

According to reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a vehicle driven by Ward was traveling north on Thayer Road at at 3:18 p.m. Oct. 2 when Ward reportedly failed to yield the right of way to an Allen County Regional Transit Authority bus driven by Elizabeth Flowers, 56, of Lima, that was eastbound on state Route 81.

Ward’s vehicle was struck by the bus, which caused it to run off the roadway. A rear-seat passenger in Ward’s vehicle, William J. Samp, 29, of Fond du Lac, was fatally injured in the crash. An additional passenger, Danielle S. Marquard, 25, of Fond du Lac, suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Lima Memorial Health System by Bath Township EMS.

The patrol said drug use may have played a role in the accident.

Ward has pleaded not guilty to all charges. A jury trial has been scheduled for Feb. 5.

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