JEFFERSON — A man was charged after being accused of drunken driving that resulted in a crash that killed a teen.
Vernon Hershberger, 19, of East Rochester, faces a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, court records state. His case was bound over Jan. 6 to the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas.
Hershberger was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado Dec. 21 on Huntley Road, one mile west of Wiswell Road, that went off the road, struck a ditch and overturned, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Hanna Miller, 16, who was visiting the area form out-of-town, was partially ejected from the vehicle and died in the crash, the coroner’s office said.
There were nine people in the vehicle including; Matthew Leslein, 20, Robert Leslein, 18, Melvin Yoder, 20, all of Windsor Township, who were not injured and Matthew Miller, 18, of Windsor Township who was transported to UH Geauga Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries, according to the OHP.
Four juveniles, including Miller, were in the vehicle at the time of the crash, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
Windsor Township fire and emergency medical service crews responded to the scene of the crash, and at the time Hershberger was transported to UH Geauga Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Ashtabula County Prosecutor Cecelia Cooper, as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said Hershberger is suspected of operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Law enforcement does not believe Hershberger had a valid driver’s license, Cooper said.
“It’s just a tragic situation,” Cooper said.