A South Charleston man faces up to 17½ years in prison after pleading guilty to a crash authorities said he caused while driving under the influence.
Marc Terrell, 37, entered the plea Tuesday to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and OVI, according to Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll.
Prosecutors dismissed a count of vehicular assault and tampering with evidence as part of the plea deal. Terrell is due back for sentencing in Clark County Common Pleas Court on Oct. 28.
Terrell was charged in connection to a July 2 crash on Interstate 70 that killed 20-year-old Matthew Eskeli IV, of Falconer, New York.
Ohio State Highway Patrol said Eskeli was driving a Ford Focus eastbound through Clark County at around 2:33 a.m. when he was hit by a BMW driven by Terrell.
“The BMW struck the left side of the Ford Focus, causing the Ford Focus to travel off the right side of the roadway,” according to an OSP news release issued at the time of the crash. “The Ford Focus struck an exit sign, light pole, and rolled over before coming to final rest on its left side. The BMW continued eastbound for a short distance before it became disabled along the right berm.”
Eskeli was taken to the hospital but died from his injuries, an OSP spokesperson said.
Zack Cooper, 21, was a passenger in the Ford Focus and was taken to Miami Valley Hosptial after the crash. Benjamin Cooper, 22, was also a passenger in the Ford Focus and was taken to Springfield Regional Hospital for precautionary reasons.
Calls to 9-1-1 obtained by the Springfield News-Sun detail the scene moments after the fatal crash.
“There was a silver car that was going eastbound that had to be doing over 100 and I think it sideswiped this car and flipped it,” a person who called 9-1-1 told dispatch.
Terrell was arrested at the scene of the crash on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence.
“The driver was found to be intoxicated,” said OSP Springfield Post Commander Lt. Brian Aller. “So he was transported to Clark County Jail. “Speed also played a factor in the crash, Aller said.
“He was going so fast,” Aller said. “He just kept on going and came to a stop about a quarter-mile up the road.”
Driscoll said a pre-sentencing investigation will take place between now and sentencing. He said Eskeli’s parents were in the courtroom Tuesday when Terrell made his plea.
“Anytime you got a case like this, it is incredibly sad,” Driscoll said. “It was so easy to avoid. All anyone needs to do is ask someone to drive him, stay where you’re at or call an Uber or a Lyft. There are so many options that are available to you today.
On top of the prison time Terrell is facing, Driscoll said he could also have his license suspended permanently. Terrell is currently listed as an inmate in Clark County Jail.
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