LIMA — A Wisconsin man will be sentenced April 11 on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs for causing a traffic accident that killed a passenger in his vehicle late last year.
Lance J. Ward, 25, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to the second-degree felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor. In exchange for those pleas, prosecutors dismissed two additional charges of operating under the influence.
According to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ward on the afternoon of Oct. 2 last year was operating a vehicle traveling north on Thayer Road when he 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.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.