A man is at the Franklin County Jail, accused of running a stop light and crashing into another vehicle containing two small children.
William Hill, 32, was arrested and charged in connection with the crash that killed a 5-year-old boy and injured a 3-year-old girl on Wednesday. On Thursday, a judge ordered him held under $75,000 bond and suspended his right to drive.
Police said that the children's father, Joshua Northeimer, was driving westbound on state Route 161 when Hill ran the stoplight and struck his vehicle around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Both children were restrained in child seats in the back seat of the vehicle at the time.
The children were transported to Nationwide Children's Hospital. Five-year-old Tucker Northeimer died a short time later. Ella Northeimer was treated and expected to be released.
A witness told police that she was with Hill when he drank a 22 oz. beer before the crash, according to court documents.
Police said that Hill’s blood-alcohol level was 0.02 – under the legal limit. He did fail a field sobriety test, which investigators said could be because of a combination of drugs and alcohol in his system.
Hill was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony.
According to court documents, the crash was not the first time Hill was charged in connection with driving under the influence.
Hill’s criminal history dates back to 1998 and includes a 2009 arrest for OVI, a charge that was later dropped due to a mental-competency issues, and rape.
“I think he has some problems,” said Paul Snyder, who lives next door to Hill. “Sometimes it’s worse than others, especially when he’s drinking and not taking his medication.”
Hill’s problems also involved vehicles. 10 Investigates learned that he had a valid license even though he has had numerous citations and suspensions dating from 1996 to 2011.
Hill also has been involved in at least three others crashes since 2003, and neighbors said that he has been known to drive after drinking.
Neighbor Connie Lewis said that she has witnessed the incidents.
“He’s a good guy, he has a good heart, but he has a serious drinking problem,” Lewis said. ‘We’ve had a talk with him about drinking and driving, and I told him, ‘I’ll get you a beer, buy you know, don’t drink and drive.’ So we had that talk. But he didn’t listen.”
Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. John Born said that approximately 50 children are killed in alcohol-related crashes in Ohio each year.
“We obviously mourn the death of anyone, especially a child,” Born said. “It’s such a tragic situation, especially around the holidays, but something we can do something about.”
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