December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Man pleads guilty in four-vehicle crash

Gerhart

ELYRIA — A Grafton man who seriously injured two people when he crashed his truck into three other vehicles in June pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated vehicular assault, vehicular assault and DUI charges.

Christopher Gerhart, 22, had a blood-alcohol cencetration of 0.189, well above the legal driving limit of 0.08, and his friends had drawn all over his face with marker the night before, according to police.

Gerhart was driving south on state Route 57 shortly before 7 a.m. when he struck the rear of a Hyundai Santa Fe driven by Thomas Martin, who had stopped his vehicle at the intersection of East Broad Street.

The impact forced the Sante Fe into a Jeep Patriot driven by Aaron Sherban and the Jeep was pushed into another lane where it struck a motorcycle ridden by Jeremy Harsa.

Kenneth Ortner, Gerhart’s lawyer, said that Harsa suffered a broken leg in the crash and that Martin’s back was broken.

He said he’s hopeful Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge will impose the mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison on Gerhart. Ortner said the maximum prison sentence his client could receive is five years.

Gerhart’s driver’s license also could be suspended for up to 10 years, Ortner said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.