Man arraigned on vehicular manslaughter

MIAMI COUNTY — A local man was arraigned on vehicular manslaughter this week in Miami County Municipal Court in connection with an accident that caused the death of a Covington man.

Gary N. Sandison, 62, of Troy, was charged with second-degree misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and arraigned in Municipal Court on Tuesday. He was charged in connection with an accident that occurred on Sept. 24 on the 9000 block of Klinger Road, Covington, and resulted in the death of Russell Heintz, 69, of Covington. Heintz passed away on Sept. 28 at the Miami Valley Hospital, where he was being treated for his injuries.

According to Miami County Municipal Court records, the accident appeared to be caused by Sandison’s vehicle traveling left of center, going into the west-bound lane of travel where Heintz was driving in the opposite direction toward Sandison. The accident was originally reported of only having minor or possible injuries of both drivers, who were each transported to local hospitals for evaluation prior to Heintz passing away.

When investigators from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office questioned Sandison at Kettering Health Network’s Troy Hospital on Sept. 24, Sandison said he only “remembered the other car coming right at him and then striking him.” Court records also note the investigator thought Sandison “looked a little surprised” when the investigator told Sandison that roadway evidence showed that it was Sandison’s vehicle had been the one to cross over into the opposing lane of traffic.

When questioned on Oct. 1, Sandison made the comment that he should not have been driving due to being tired after cutting down a tree.

According to court reports, investigators did not detect any signs of drug or alcohol impairment with Sandison following the crash. The Sheriff’s Office also investigated the vehicles involved in the crash, noting no mechanical defects found in either vehicle that would have contributed to the crash.

The Sheriff’s Office received the final autopsy report from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office on Nov. 18, which stated Heintz’s cause of death was due to “blunt force trauma sustained in (a) motor vehicle collision.” This case was then presented to a grand jury for indictment.

After being arraigned, Sandison was released on his own recognizance. A pre-trial conference for Sandison is currently scheduled for Feb. 20.

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.