HAMILTON, Ohio — A man who pleaded no contest in a 2014 vehicular homicide case in West Chester will spend a year in prison, and can never drive again.
Visiting Judge James Brogan handed down the sentence Monday in Butler County Area 2 Court in Hamilton.
Police said Terrence Strader crashed his Chevrolet Avalanche into the black of a Honda Civic before continuing on State Route 747 to run a red light and hit a silver Toyota Prius driven by 62-year-old veteran truck driver and union local chapter president Troy Stapleton.
Stapleton died from injuries sustained in the second crash.
In the weeks to come, his defense attorney revealed that Strader — a Hughes High School and MIT grad and Procter & Gamble engineer — suffered from epileptic seizures, and was having a seizure when the crash occurred.
On Monday, Strader had the chance to address Stapleton’s family. He said in court:
I am here today to not only express my sincerest apologies, but to also allow the chance to learn more about me. First and foremost, May 29, 2014, will be a day that’s never forgotten. A tragic accident occurred that forever changed the lives of many. For that reason, I am very sorry about the loss of Mr. Troy Stapleton and provide my deepest condolences to all of you.
While Stapleton’s brother, Robert, told WCPO he thought the ruling was “fair” and that it would bring closure to his family, he said he is still grieving.
“This was my brother,” Robert said, “and the smile that he has on his face, it was always there. Everybody can attest to that. He was a great man.”
Robert said he felt Strader felt a genuine sense of remorse and that, while he couldn’t forgive him right away, he hoped someday he could.
Stapleton was also survived by a daughter, Azure Herrington, who recalled the intimate relationship she had with her father.
“We ended every phone conversation the same way. He would say, ‘I love you,’ and I would say, ‘I love you more,’ and he would say, ‘But I called it first.’” Herrington recalled.
“I will never hear those words from his mouth again.”
Visiting Judge James Brogan sentenced Strader to a year in prison and imposed on him a lifetime ban on driving, stating that he wanted others to know that there is a punishment for failing to obtain the proper clearance to drive when dealing with a health condition such as epilepsy.