WOOSTER, Ohio -- A Wayne County man convicted of causing the death of an Amish girl in a drunk driving accident was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison.
The crash happened in August 2011, when the girl’s family was heading home from a produce auction in Congress Township, and their wagon was struck from behind by a pickup truck. Four members of the Amish family were ejected from the wagon, which was outfitted with lights and reflectors. Sarah Zook, 11, was killed, and her brother and sister were seriously injured.
The driver of the pickup, 45-year-old Brian Reed, of West Salem, pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide in February. On Wednesday, as Sarah Zook's father looked on, prosecutors revealed Reed's blood alcohol content on the night of the accident was .207, more than two times the legal limit.
Wayne County Prosecutor Dan Lutz told Fox 8, "The defendant's life changed forever because he made a bad decision to drink alcohol, get in a car and drive. You see an Amish family's lives changed forever because of that same decision. It's just not worth it."
But authorities said, in a display of amazing grace, Brian Reed has already been forgiven by Sarah Zook's parents, even though the loss of Sarah continues to have a major impact on the Zook's nine other children.
"The youngest one, he said, cries because sometimes she can't remember her face, what she looks like," said victims’ advocate Stacey Rehm.
In addition to the mandatory two-year prison term, Brian Reed must also pay restitution to the Zook family, and his license will be suspended for 15 years.