Urbana woman to serve 7 years for OVI crash that killed son on Father’s Day

Britaney Nicole Kirchgessner
caption arrowCaption
Britaney Nicole Kirchgessner

Credit: Miami County Jail

Credit: Miami County Jail

An Urbana woman convicted of aggravated vehicular manslaughter and driving while under the influence of drugs in the June death of her 7-year-old son was sentenced Monday to seven to 10.5 years in prison by a judge who called the death tragic — “something that didn’t have to happen.”

Britaney Kirchgessner, 29, was sentenced in Miami County Common Pleas Court by Judge Jeannine Pratt.

Kirchgessner was indicted by a county grand jury in September and pleaded guilty as charged in the death of Daniel Voris in early December. He died the day after a June 19 head-on collision.

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Investigators said a pickup truck driven by Kirchgessner drove left of center and into a semi on U.S. 36 in Fletcher. She was critically injured in the crash. Investigators said she was under the influence of methamphetamines.

Kirchgessner, who cried through much of Monday’s hearing, said the crash was an accident. “I don’t remember what caused the accident, but I regret it more than anything in my whole life,” she said.

Kirchgessner placed the boy in a booster seat but didn’t buckle him in before driving off early the morning of the crash, said Paul Watkins, first assistant county prosecutor.

The boy’s father, Russ Voris, said he never thought he’d lose his son, let alone on Father’s Day. “The hurt in my heart will never go away,” he said.

Pratt said Kirchgessner had a short criminal record that included misdemeanors of theft and disorderly conduct.

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Kirchgessner was seen by witnesses a short time before the crash “driving like a bat out of hell,” Pratt said. Methamphetamines were found in the vehicle, “you were out of it” and the child was not secured in the seat, she said.

“This is a very difficult case, truly a tragedy … something that didn’t have to happen,” Pratt said. “Her bad choices had the ultimate consequence … the loss of her son.”

Kirchgessner was sentenced to a minimum of seven years in the Ohio Reformatory for Women and a maximum of 10.5 years, a lifetime driver’s license suspension and fines totaling $16,075.

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