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Driver sentenced to 16 years in connection with fatal crash

A Springfield man was sentenced to serve 16 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to charges that his truck hit and killed a retired Springfield police officer in a crash last year.

Christopher G. Stewart, 48, of Springfield, was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of aggravated vehicular homicide, said James Griffin, Stewart’s attorney. In addition, Stewart was ordered to serve an additional five years in prison after pleading guilty to a separate count of aggravated vehicular assault, Griffin said.

The vehicular homicide charge included a stipulation that Stewart’s driver’s license be suspended for life. Assistant Clark County Prosecutor William Merrell wasn’t available for comment Friday afternoon.

The charges stem from a crash on July 7 in which authorities said Stewart drove a truck that struck and killed William Parks, 60, a retired Springfield police officer. The accident also seriously injured Parks’ wife, Cindy, who was a passenger on her husband’s motorcycle.

Stewart was headed south on Yellow Springs Street when he allegedly went left of center, striking Parks, who was on his motorcycle on West High Street.

William Parks began working for the police division in 1975 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He retired in 1991. He later worked for the city of Springfield as a custodian before retiring from that position in 2002. Representatives from the Springfield Police Division didn’t return a call Friday seeking comment.

Stewart had previously been convicted on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in 2011, and his license was forfeited until 2013. Stewart had also been convicted of OVI and driving under the influence five times between 1992 and 2007 and has several convictions for driving with a suspended license, according to court records.

Stewart can appeal the sentence, Griffin said.

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