Ohio Firefighter Sentenced to 9 Months Over Response Accident

A volunteer firefighter from Portage, Ohio has been sentenced to 9 months in prison for causing an accident in 2010 that killed a 24 year old man and seriously injured his girlfriend.

Firefighter Timothy Johnson, now 43, of the Portage Fire District, was responding to a mutual aid structure fire on July 16, 2010 when his personally owned vehicle collided with a car driven by Olivia Duty. Duty’s boyfriend, Ian Huffman, 24, was killed in the crash. Police estimated Johnson’s speed at between 96-98 miles per hour just before the collision. Here is our previous coverage of the accident.

Johnson was originally charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. Following a mistrial where a prosecutor committed misconduct by failing to disclose evidence to the defense, Johnson pled guilty to one count negligent vehicular homicide and attempted negligent homicide, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Besides the 9 months in prison, Johnson will lose his driver’s license for 3 years.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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