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Lawsuit filed over fatal accident

By RYAN DUNN
STAFF WRITER

A wrongful death lawsuit seeking more than $50,000 has been filed against a former Ottawa councilman.

On June 6, Alan J. Ducey collided head-on with another vehicle after he drove left of center on Ohio 65 to avoid hitting stopped traffic, according to the State Highway Patrol’s Lima post.

The crash killed Columbus Grove residents Christine A. Hayden, 62, and her mother, Joan M. Beam, 85, according to the post. Their car was also struck from behind following the initial impact, troopers said.

The lawsuit names Ducey, 59, and the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities as a co-defendant. The agency employed Ducey and he was driving for work, according to the suit.

The civil claim was filed July 30 by Hayden’s husband in Putnam County Common Pleas Court.

Ducey caused the accident by violating several traffic laws, wrote Martin Williams, a Toledo attorney representing the Hayden family.

The family’s bill includes about $20,000 for Hayden’s medical bills and $10,000 for funeral costs, he wrote.

Hayden endured “great physical pain of the body and suffering of the mind” from the crash, Williams wrote.

Williams declined an interview request.

Esther Baldridge, superintendent of the disabilities agency, called the crash a tragic accident. She declined further comment. Her attorney, Mark Landes of Columbus, did so as well.

Investigators are awaiting results from a blood sample Ducey provided after the crash. The case remains under review by the Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office, the State Highway Patrol said Wednesday.

Ducey was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to the post.

He emailed a brief resignation letter just hours after the crash.

“In lieu of today’s tragic event, I would like to resign immediately from Ottawa Village Council. I am so sorry if I have brought any trouble,” he wrote.

Ducey did not return a call seeking comment.

Dunn: 419-427-8417
Send an E-mail to Ryan Dunn
Twitter: @CourierRyan

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