Arcanum woman pleads in fatal crash case

By Clinton Randall clintonrandall@civitasmedia.com

February 28, 2014

GREENVILLE - Before a scheduled trial Friday morning in Municipal Court, an agreement was reached for a local woman that was charged with a fatal crash on July 12, 2013.

Jessica Jones, 25, of Arcanum pleaded No Contest to one count of Vehicular Manslaughter, a second degree misdemeanor. She was charged with two misdemeanor counts following the crash that claimed the life of 58-year-old Janice M. Howard of Arcanum.

Jones was eastbound in a 1993 Honda Civic on the 5400 block of Delisle Fourmans Road when she struck Howard who was riding a bicycle along the roadway.

According to reports, Jones told deputies that she did not even see Howard before it was too late. Pictures from the incident confirmed the morning sun was facing Jones’ vehicle and a hill may have contributed to limited visibility.

Darke County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jesse J. Green chose to dismiss a more severe charge of Vehicular Homicide, a first degree misdemeanor, after a report was completed by the Darke County Sheriff’s Accident Reconstruction Team that showed Jones was only traveling between 49-53 miles per hour.

According to a statement given by Jones at the time of the accident, she said she may have been going about 60 miles per hour.

“She was in shock at the time of incident, she wasn’t aware of how fast she was actually going,” said Jones’ defense attorney David A. Rohrer.

Jones will appear for sentencing and a restitution hearing sometime in March. She faces a maximum of 90 days in jail and a license suspension of up to one year.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case. It was an accident, simple as that.” Rohrer concluded.

Local attorney Camille L. Baker sat in as acting judge for Municipal Court Judge Julie L. Monnin on the case.