Man accused of texting and driving before fatal crash

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NEW RUSSIA TWP., Ohio — Charges have been filed against a Vermilion man accused of texting and driving before hitting another car head on, killing the driver.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Michael D. McFarland, 43, faces charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, texting while driving, reckless operation and failure to maintain assured clear distance ahead.

Reports state that the crash happened at just before 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.

A 2001 Ford Focus was heading east on U.S. 20 at the time. A 2008 Jeep Compass was stopped in traffic in the opposite, westbound lane of U.S. 20 when a 2000 Dodge 1500, being driven by McFarland, hit itĀ from behind.

The Dodge then went left of center, hitting the Ford Focus head on, overturning on its side. The Focus then went off the right side of the roadway.

The driver of the Focus was identified as Hubert H. Vaughan, 48, of Elyria. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Jeep was identified as Tami M. Ford, 53, of Elyria. She received minor injuries.

McFarland was wearing his safety belt and was also injured.

Authorities say that they found evidence of texting while driving, and that is now a suspected factor in the crash.

McFarland turned himself in on an arrest warrant and is in Lorain County Jail.

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