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Former Ottawa official faces vehicular homicide charges

OTTAWA — A former Ottawa councilman is facing two counts of vehicular homicide following a fatal accident in June.

Alan J. Ducey, 59, was charged Friday with two first-degree misdemeanors in Putnam County Municipal Court. He is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 9.

On June 6, Ducey struck an oncoming vehicle after driving left of center on Ohio 65 to avoid hitting stopped traffic, according to the State Highway Patrol’s Lima post.

Killed in the crash were Columbus Grove residents Joan M. Beam, 85, and her daughter, Christine A. Hayden, 62. A car struck their vehicle from behind after the first collision, troopers said.

The charges are misdemeanors because Ducey did not commit additional violations, such as consuming alcohol or driving without a license, said Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers.

Lammers said he chose the highest misdemeanor, however, because Ducey would have likely avoided the fatal crash by paying more attention, Lammers said.

Ducey resigned from his position on council shortly after the crash. He has not responded to an interview request from The Courier.

Ducey was also named in a wrongful death suit filed by Hayden’s husband, seeking at least $50,000. That case is pending in Putnam County Common Pleas Court.

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