Ohio State Highway Patrol Admits Mistakes In Fatal Crash Investigation


UPDATED: Tuesday February 25, 2014 9:43 AM

The question of who caused a crash that killed a Morrow County grandfather was at the heart of testimony in the aggravated vehicular homicide trial of Cory Jackson on Monday.

Crash scene photos showed the results of the deadly collision on November 17, 2011.

Inside a demolished Jetta were Paul and Patricia Nauman.

Inside an overturned pickup truck was Cory Jackson.

The crash left Paul Nauman, 73, dead, and Jackson charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and DUI.

Which vehicle crossed the center line, causing the collision is in dispute.

Prosecutors argue it was Jackson, who was seen weaving wildly on I-71 before the crash.

Monday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol admitted the evidence didn't support that.

"You thought that my client crossed the center line here at the 'S' and caused the collision correct?" asked defense attorney Larry Zukerman.

"Correct," replied Ohio State Highway Patrol Sergeant James Burkhart.

"And that's wrong," said Zukerman.

"It is wrong," admitted Burkhart.

"In fact the Nauman vehicle is the one that came into my client's lane and caused the collision, correct?" asked Zukerman.

"Yes," said Burkhart.

Previously in the trial, Patricia Nauman testified that she and her husband saw Jackson left of center, coming toward their car.

Immediately after the impact, Jackson disappeared from the scene.

With the help of police helicopters, he was found 90 minutes later in a nearby cornfield.

Sergeant Burkhart said once Jackson was found, he immediately suspected Jackson was drunk.

"He had droopy eyelids, bloodshot, glassy eyes.

His breath smelled very strongly of an alcoholic beverage," Burkhart testified.

The defense argued it was a head injury and shock from the crash that caused Jackson's behavior.

But that doesn't account for the toxicology results showing Jackson's blood alcohol level at .181, more than double the legal limit.

That blood test result is expected to be the focus Tuesday.

The test was done by a State Highway Patrol Crime Lab worker who has come under fire for failing to follow procedure.

A 10TV investigation two weeks ago revealed her missteps and how they impacted another DUI case.

Watch our previous stories here:

Man Goes To Trial For Crash That Killed 73-Year-Old - http://is.gd/1ujU6E

Expert: OHP Lab Violations Raise Doubts In Integrity Of Samples - http://is.gd/WNkYwe

 State Patrol Crime Lab Called Into Question After Sloppy Work By Employee - http://is.gd/lI4Rpy

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