Judge puts off sentencing until July 22
Tim Morrison, whose son Dylan was killed after a loose tire fell off a semi truck on Interstate 75 and crashed into his son’s windshield, has been waiting more than two years for justice.
He and his family will have to wait another month.
Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman accepted a guilty plea from Paul Lallier, 64, of Hamilton on one count of vehicular homicide and one count of obstructing justice in the death of Dylan Morrison but put off sentencing until July 22.
If convicted of all charges, Lallier faces up to a year in jail, a five-year suspension of his driver’s license and a $2,000 fine.
Morrison, 22, was driving from his family’s West Chester home to the University of Cincinnati for classes on March 28, 2011 – the first day after spring break – when the crash occurred on Interstate 75 in Lockland.
On the day of the accident, a tire fell off Lallier’s triple-axle semi truck and bounced from the northbound to the southbound lanes into Morrison’s windshield. Morrison was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lallier stopped, but only briefly, before driving back to his company Burkett Trucking Inc. in Hamilton where mechanics began to repair and replace the missing wheel.
The family’s attorney, David L. Prem, said the vehicular homicide charge stems from Lallier’s failure to properly inspect his truck and the obstructing justice charge was due to him leaving the scene and having the truck worked on.
“We know there was a higher purpose,” said Tim Morrison, who now lives in Loveland. “(Dylan) should have left for class earlier; why didn’t he get stopped at a light? It was meant to happen, but we still wanted the driver prosecuted.”
The Morrison family was expected to speak in front of Ruehlman Tuesday, but Prem said they will instead speak at the sentencing. Morrison did speak up briefly during the hearing, saying that Lallier’s claim to have inspected his truck before using it was a lie.
Morrison said the was disappointed in the decision to put off the sentencing, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 22.
“This is the Morrison mess. Nothing is ever easy for us. Just an example of agony with our family,” he said. “We have already waited 27 months. We are disappointed that he wasn’t sentenced, but he will be sentenced.”
The guilty plea took place just two days after Michael Ramey, 34, of Willamstown, Ky., died from injuries he suffered June 16 in Walton after a loose tire similarly bounced across I-75 and onto the hood and windshield of his car.