Driver placed on community control for injury crash

By Nick Walton -

A Springfield man’s driver’s license was suspended as part of his sentence stemming from a 2015 injury crash.

Adam E. Schwarz, 22, was placed on community control for three years Thursday during a sentencing hearing. As part of community control, Schwarz’s driver’s license was suspended for one year and he was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service by April 1, 2019.

On May 24, 2015, Gregory L. Hoffman was driving a motorcycle northbound on North U.S. Route 68 when he stopped to make a left turn onto state Route 296. A pickup truck stopped behind Hoffman.

Schwarz was traveling northbound and failed to see the pickup truck stopped and veered left into the southbound lane of traffic before cutting back into the northbound lane after passing the truck. He then struck Hoffman’s motorcycle causing both vehicles to go off the right side of the roadway just north of the intersection.

Hoffman was transported via CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, following the crash. Hoffman died Jan. 19.

Schwarz pleaded guilty to a first degree misdemeanor assault charge in addition to two minor misdemeanor violation of traffic laws charges on March 24. A fourth degree felony vehicular assault charge was dismissed.

A sentencing memorandum filed on March 30 by Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi states Hoffman was incapacitated and required assisted living after his release from the hospital. The memorandum further states while he was being treated for injuries related to the crash, it was discovered that Hoffman had cancer.

Talebi states Hoffman was not aware that he had cancer prior to the crash and was unable to undergo certain treatments related to the cancer because of his weakened physical condition related to the crash.

During Thursday’s sentencing, Talebi said Hoffman’s family was not seeking blind vengeance toward Schwarz but wanted him to understand the pain and loss caused by his actions.

Prior to the hearing, Judge Nick Selvaggio noted the court had received 28 letters from supporters of the victim and 17 letters in support of Schwarz. Supporters of both parties were present in the courtroom during the hearing.

A tearful Schwarz said he wanted Hoffman’s family to know that he is sorry and said there is not a day he does not think about the crash. Schwarz said he was heading to work in Bellefontaine prior to the crash.

As the specifics of the incident were discussed, the court was informed that Schwarz was not driving at an excessive speed, was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and was not using a cellphone at the time of the crash.

In addition to the other community control conditions, Schwarz was ordered to keep a photo of Hoffman’s damaged motorcycle in his wallet for a year. He was also fined $1,000.

If community control is revoked, Hoffman faces a six-month jail sentence at the Tri-County Regional Jail, Mechanicsburg.

In addition to the criminal case, Schwarz is a defendant in a civil case in which Hoffman is the plaintiff. A scheduling conference in the civil case is scheduled for May 13.

By Nick Walton

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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