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A Youngstown-area doctor accused of killing a Summit County fisherman in a boat collision on the Berlin Reservoir on the border of Portage County more than two years ago was scheduled to go on trial starting Monday.
The (Youngstown) Vindicator reported that the case against 38-year-old Dr. Joseph Yurich was going forward in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Yurich faces charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony, and aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony, failure to stop after an accident, a fifth-degree felony, and two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, both first-degree misdemeanors. He waived his right to a jury trial, and Judge John Durkin will decide his innocence or guilt, the newspaper reported.
Portage County sheriff's deputies and Ohio Department of Natural Resources police responded the evening of May 9, 2015, after Yurich's boat allegedly struck another boat carrying 58-year-old Neal Cuppett of Akron and his friend, 42-year-old Bruce Lindamood of Green. Cuppett died at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, and Lindamood was seriously injured.
The two Summit County men were fishing, with lights on their boat and were stationary when their boat was struck by Yurich's, the newspaper reported. Investigators later found Yurich at a nearby house, where he allegedly told Detective Lt. Greg Johnson he was alone on the boat, didn't see the fishermen and had several beers before the crash.
Yurich's blood alcohol concentration allegedly was 0.152 at the time of the crash, the Vindicator reported. Blood and urine samples taken from him later were ruled inadmissible because investigators took too long to have them refrigerated, the newspaper reported.
Yurich's statements to Johnson can be used against him, Durkin said in an earlier ruling, according to the Vindicator.
Yurich was a surgeon at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital in Mahoning County at the time of the incident, and is a 2004 graduate of Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.