A tow truck driver who unintentionally struck and killed a pedestrian pleaded no contest and was found guilty Tuesday of failure to stop after an accident.
Prosecutors said Alex L. Bays, 26, of the 1500 block of East Broadway was not reckless or intoxicated but failed to stop or call police after he struck Michael A. Morris, 58, of Toledo — an offense that becomes a felony when a death is involved.
“Had he stopped, there's a possibility that no charges would have been brought forth by the state of Ohio,” Michael Loisel, assistant county prosecutor, said after the hearing.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ian English told Bays he faces up to three years in prison and a driver's license suspension that could last as long as three years when he is sentenced Sept. 28.
Mr. Loisel told the court that Bays was driving a tow truck on Western Avenue April 3 when he turned the corner at Canal Avenue and struck Mr. Morris, who was in the roadway. Witnesses said that after striking Mr. Morris, the tow truck fled down an alley.
Two hours after the incident, Bays returned to the scene and told police he was the driver of the tow truck but said he “did not realize he had struck an individual,” Mr. Loisel said.
Mr. Morris was pronounced dead at the scene. The Lucas County Coroner’s Office ruled his death accidental and caused by multiple blunt force injuries sustained in the crash, Mr. Loisel said.
Judge English allowed Bays to remain free on bond until sentencing.
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