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Cops and Courts

Driver pleads guilty in fatal crash

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    Jonathan Swiers



ELYRIA — An Amherst man pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in connection with a crash in which a bicyclist was struck and killed in October 2017.

Jonathan Swiers, 29, of North Lake Street, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a third-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide and not stopping after a crash.

A trial on the matter had been scheduled for Feb. 4.

Police have said Swiers was the driver who struck Jason Baird, 26, of Oberlin, just before 6 a.m. Oct. 24, 2017.

The Ohio Highway Patrol said Baird was traveling southbound on Quarry Road in New Russia Township when he was struck by a southbound vehicle. A motorist called 911 to report an unresponsive man with a laceration to his head who was in a ditch just south of state Route 511. There was a damaged bicycle in the roadway nearby.

Baird was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland with life-threatening injuries, troopers said.

He died a few days later.

After clearing the scene of the crash, troopers began to scour the area looking for a vehicle that fit the description with evidence collected from the scene.

A 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche with damage consistent with evidence at the scene was found in the parking lot of NN AutoCam Precision, 207 W. Herrick St., in Wellington. Troopers spoke with the driver of the vehicle, which was Swiers, troopers said.

Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said the plea by Swiers was not part of a plea agreement with the state. He also said there was no agreed-upon sentence.

Swiers faces a maximum of eight years in prison, but prison time is not mandatory, according to court documents.

Will said prosecutors will ask Judge Raymond Ewers to sentence Swiers to prison time at his sentencing hearing next month.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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