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Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Man gets prison for injuring volunteer

By Margie Wuebker
"Drugs hurt people and make families feel bad," Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteer Marvin Collins said Wednesday morning in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
His comments took place prior to the sentencing of Kameron J. McCarty, 21, of Lewisville, on charges of aggravated vehicular assault and driving under the influence (DUI) stemming from an Oct. 3 traffic accident that critically injured Collins.
Blood tests determined McCarty was under the influence of cocaine and heroin at the time of the crash.
"Other people could see my lights three-quarters of a mile back," Collins said of the Oct. 3 accident. "I wish he could have seen my lights and not caused anyone to get hurt. I don't know if he is sorry for what he did or really understands what he did."
As a victim, Collins is still healing and his vision has been impaired.
"The doctor tells me I'll never be the same as I once was," the 56-year-old Fort Recovery man said. "I don't want anyone else to get hurt like I did."
McCarty, who apologized for the accident and stated he no longer uses drugs, received three years in prison for aggravated vehicular assault and six months in jail for DUI, with the time to run concurrently. Judge Jeffrey Ingraham granted 72 days credit for time served during pendency of the case.
In addition, Ingraham imposed a mandatory $375 on the OVI charge and suspended the defendant's operator's license for five years.
Restitution totaling more than $186,000 reportedly covers only a portion of the medical bills Collins has received to date.
Tears rolled down McCarty's cheeks as he was led from the courtroom. His mother and his aunt tearfully apologized to Collins for all the pain and suffering he had experienced.
The Oct. 3 accident occurred as Collins and fellow MCERV member James E. Kittle diverted traffic in the area of U.S. 127 and state Route 274 due to an earlier accident. McCarty failed to heed flashing lights and orange reflective cones. His car struck Collins' pickup truck and pushed it into Kittle's truck. Collins was struck by the vehicles, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports.
Collins was initially taken by ambulance to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater and later transferred by emergency helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
"I am thankful God was on my side," he said following the court proceeding. "I truly did not realize at the time how badly I was hurt."
Following his Nov. 23 release from the hospital, he entered an area nursing home and spent weeks undergoing rehabilitation.
"I just went back to work at Fort Recovery Industries," Collins said with a proud smile. "I'm on light duty, but at least I'm working."
Volunteering is something he enjoys. He served four years with MCERV and 15 years with the Southwest Mercer Fire Department to his credit.
"I hope to get back working with MCERV," he added. "I enjoy helping people and I never expected to be on the receiving end. So many people have helped me and my family through this. I just want all of them to know how appreciative we are."
Collins lamented the statements McCarty made prior to his sentencing about not being able to attend his son's upcoming third birthday party.
"Drugs are terrible things," Collins said. "One person uses them and the whole family suffers."
Additional online story on this date
ST. HENRY - "If you want to live as long as you can, don't do drugs."
Morgan Bruggeman's words were clear and convincing as she stood in the St. Henry Middle School gymnasium on Wednesday, addressing her classmates and others during a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) graduation ceremony. [More]
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