By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ashtabula man who was behind the wheel of the Walnut Beach crash that injured five people, one seriously, was arraigned Friday in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court.
Tyler P. Ashley, 26, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony; vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey continued Ashley’s $15,000 personal recognizance bond. Ashley hired his own attorney.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said Ashley failed to yield at a stop sign Aug. 31, 2013 when he drove his Honda Civic off Walnut Boulevard, over a cliff and into a private beach near Lake Erie at 3:05 a.m.
The passengers in Ashley’s vehicle were Benjamin Ashcroft of North Kingsville, Brandyn Frampton of Kingsville and Shawn Ryder and Katrina Welton, both of Ashtabula.
All of the passengers, who are in their 20s, were transported to area hospitals and treated for their injuries.
Welton was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where she was in critical condition, but recovered from her injuries, police said.