ELYRIA, Ohio — The man responsible for causing a fatal accident that claimed the lives of the wife and son of a Lorain County Jail corrections officer was sentenced to decades in prison on Friday.
Fox 8 News Dave Nethers was in court as Judge James M. Burge sentenced Gerald Wetherbee Jr. to 34-years behind bars.
On June 8th, Wetherbee, of Oberlin, pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to a fatal June 2011 car accident. The crash killed Tammy and Tommy Tomasheski. Lorain County Jail corrections officer Tom Tomasheski and his daughter Danielle were critically injured.
Wetherbee pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, vehicular assault, operating under the influence and driving under suspension.
“I must protect the public,” said Burge before handing down the sentence. He later added, “The likelihood of you finishing this sentence is not good.”
Wetherbee told the court, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life. This is the worst I have done.”
Wetherbee was operating a vehicle northbound on State Route 83 in Grafton when he went off the side of the road, over-corrected and hit the Tomasheski family’s car head-on.
Authorities came to a quick conclusion that he was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Wetherbee had a .257 blood alcohol level at the time of the crash.
Nethers reports that one witness told authorities that Wetherbee could have been going as fast as 90 MPH just minutes before the crash.