Drunken crash with kids leads to 18 months in prison


By Justin Wier

jwier@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A man who crashed his car while drunk with two children in the back seat received an 18-month prison sentence Monday in Mahoning Common Pleas Court.

“This is a tragedy in and of itself,” said Judge R. Scott Krichbaum. “[But] the tragedy continues because now you’ve got to go to the penitentiary and be taken from your family.”

Tyler Yoho, 23, of Salem, received the sentence on two counts of child endangering and one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

On June 5, prosecutors said Yoho drove down Calla Road near Washingtonville at a high rate of speed when he hit another car. His blood-alcohol level was 0.176, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

His wife was in the passenger seat, and his infant and 3-year-old children were in the back seat.

Both children had bruising, and one had a fractured arm. The driver of the other car had minor injuries. Yoho suffered the most serious injuries, his attorney said.

He was pinned to the dashboard, and first- responders had to remove him from the car.

“You should thank the good Lord that your wife and children were not more seriously injured,” Judge Krichbaum said.

Prosecutors dismissed two counts of aggravated vehicular assault.

Yoho’s wife, Ashley, who had a blood-alcohol level of 0.151 at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in Mahoning County Area Court in Sebring.

Yoho told the court he learned a lot from the experience. He said he’s been sober since the accident, and he now attends church regularly. He’s also used his experience to warn others about drunken driving.

“I’m trying to help others from the mistakes I’ve made,” Yoho said.

In addition to the 18-month prison sentence, he will lose his driver’s license for 5 years and pay $1,350 in fines.

The judge also ordered Yoho to complete drug- and alcohol-addiction counseling while in prison.

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