ELYRIA, Ohio-- The driver who pleaded guilty in the crash Lorain County that killed a Midview High School student was spared prison time, thanks to the victim's family.
Chase Johnson, 19, entered a plea of guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide in June. On Wednesday, Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery sentenced him to five years probation. His driver's license was suspended for five years.
The crash happened on state Route 82 in Eaton Township on May 21, 2017 just after 3 a.m. Johnson and 17-year-old Lindsey Rotuno were heading home from prom. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Johnson, who was 18 at the time, drove over the median and hit two utility poles. Rotuno was killed.
The highway patrol said blood samples taken from Johnson tested positive for marijuana.
During the sentencing, Rotuno's mother asked that Johnson not be sent to prison, and even requested the judge grant him driving privileges for work and school. When he was given the chance to speak, Johnson said he loved Lindsey and didn't want anything bad to happen to her.
“The Rotunos are better and stronger people than I am,” Judge Rothgery said. "Because of their mercy and their ability to forgive, which is almost beyond my comprehension, you're walking out of here today."
As Johnson left the courtroom, he hugged Rotuno's parents.