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01-04-06 Willshire man changes plea so he will go to trial in fatal accident case

By Janie Southard

  The Willshire man who pleaded no contest in November to reduced charges stemming from a double fatality traffic accident more than a year ago has withdrawn that plea.

  The case will go to trial on March 27 in Van Wert.

  Carey Hamrick, 42, was scheduled for sentencing Tuesday on the Dec. 26, 2004, traffic accident near Willshire. However, his attorney submitted new information to Van Wert County Common Pleas Court that morning regarding a medical condition he now says he had at the time of the collision.

  According to special prosecutor Kris Poppe, Wapakoneta, the condition as read into the court record on Tuesday is "hypoglycemia, unaware." (Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose)

  "I objected to the withdrawal and requested that the sentencing take place as scheduled. However, the judge determined the case will be heard by a jury," Poppe told The Daily Standard via telephone Tuesday afternoon.  The charges and plea now revert back to the original indictment of last February when Hamrick pleaded not guilty.

  He now faces the original charges of two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of vehicular assault and one count of failure to stop after a fatal accident. All together the charges carry a maximum of 1612 years in prison and up to $35,000 in fines as well as the possible permanent loss of his driver's license.

  The two fatalities occurred when Hamrick went left of center in his pickup and crashed head-on with a vehicle driven by Rachel Wolfe, 22, Rockford.

  The two passengers in the Wolfe vehicle, Will P. Wolfe, Rockford, and Brian E. Schug, Willshire, both 26 years old, were pronounced dead at the scene. Rachel Wolfe was transported by helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind.

  After several hours, Hamrick turned himself in to the Van Wert County Sheriff's Office and then submitted to blood-alcohol and drug testing. Cataloged as part of the investigation, those test results have not been made public.

  Hamrick is being represented by Bill Kluge of Lima.


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