COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of weaving through Ohio traffic on a flat tire and causing a crash that killed two pedestrians in downtown Columbus was convicted Friday of multiple criminal charges.
A jury found Terrance Trent, 63, guilty of two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. His sentencing was set for Sept. 6. He faces up to 13 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Trent recklessly drove his pickup truck on a flat, running red lights and weaving through traffic for 2 miles before hitting a school bus that struck and killed 21-year-old Stephanie Fibelkorn and 58-year-old William Lewis in December 2014, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Trent testified Thursday that he panicked while driving through an intersection when his girlfriend began hitting him in the face with a soda can. He said she was upset because he was headed to the home of a woman, who belonged to his church, to fix a plumbing problem.
Witnesses testified during the trial that pieces of rubber flew from the truck’s right front-wheel as the vehicle weaved through traffic. An accident reconstruction expert testified that Trent’s truck was traveling 47 mph when it hit the school bus, the newspaper reported.
The impact of Trent’s pickup truck forced the bus into a nearby crosswalk. Fibelkorn died at the scene; Lewis died in a hospital about two weeks later. The female passenger in Trent’s truck and the school bus driver were injured in the crash, authorities said. Three Groveport Madison schoolchildren on the bus were not injured.
Mamie Adams, described as Trent’s girlfriend at the time, testified that she couldn’t remember what happened before the crash. Her injuries included a concussion.
Trent’s attorney told the jury during closing arguments that prosecutors had failed to prove their case.