PDT Staff Writer
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is reminding drivers of the serious consequences that can result from texting and driving. Wednesday morning, Jackson County Common Pleas Judge Leonard Holzapfel sentenced Christopher Haines, 31, of Oak Hill, to nearly five years in prison for the death of 10-year-old Angel McGinnis.
McGinnis was killed in a traffic crash in December of 2010 when Haines’ rear-ended her mother’s car on State Route 93. The vehicle was pushed into the opposite lane of traffic and hit by an oncoming vehicle. McGinnis’ mother and younger brother were injured, but survived.
Haines had been looking at an incoming text message when the crash happened.
“This innocent child was killed because Haines carelessly took his eyes off the road to read a text message,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “No text message is worth a life. Drivers should remember Angel McGinnis any time they think about concentrating on their phone instead of their driving.” Attorneys with the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.
Haines pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of aggravated vehicular assault just before his trial was set to begin in July. As part of Wednesday’s sentencing, the judge also suspended Haines’ license for three years upon his release from prison.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.