Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Gathright

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Guernsey

August 22, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
THOMAS GATHRIGHT, Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the Guernsey County Municipal Court, Traffic Division, Case No. 2018TRD3465

          For Plaintiff-Appellee WILLIAM H. FERGUSON Law Director, City of Cambridge

          For Defendant-Appellant BRIAN A. SMITH

          JUDGES Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          BALDWIN, J.

         {¶1} Thomas Gathright appeals the decision of the Cambridge Municipal Court finding him guilty of failure to control his vehicle, a violation of R.C. 4511.202, a minor misdemeanor. Appellee is the State of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS AND THE CASE

         {¶2} Appellant was delivering a truckload of sand to the site of a well on a rural road in Cambridge. The trailer portion of the vehicle went off the road and spilled its contents. Appellant was cited for failure to control, but contended that a defect in the road caused the trailer to tip and he was not responsible. The trial court disagreed, found him guilty and fined him $100.00 and charged him with court costs. The court also recorded two points against his driver's license.

         {¶3} Appellant drove his sand laden vehicle on Grape Hollow Road, traveling under the speed limit of fifteen miles per hour. He maneuvered to the right, attempting to miss some pot holes, when the trailer began tipping and fell. Once the trailer became unbalanced he was unable to regain control and it came to rest off the right side of the road in a ditch.

         {¶4} Trooper James Bullock of the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to the scene and cited Appellant for failure to control, after hearing Appellant's explanation that it was a defect in the road and not inattentive driving that resulted in the loss of control.

         {¶5} Appellant entered a not guilty plea and the matter was tried. Testimony was limited to Appellant and the Trooper. Appellee offered twenty-six photographs of the accident scene. Appellant submitted a video of the event as it occurred as well as photographs of the road surface taken days later.

         {¶6} Appellant explained that he was driving approximately eleven miles per hour, under the speed limit, and he was driving on the right hand side of the road to avoid pot holes. Grape Hollow Road is a two lane road with no edge markings, and appears to be in a rural area as seen on the video. Appellant claims "the road gave just a little bit" shifted the weight of the trailer and causing it to tip into the ditch. He claimed his "steer tires never left the road and that he was driving in a straight line when the defect in the road caused the problem."

         {¶7} Trooper Bullock agreed that Appellant told him "the back of his trailer started to get into the edge of the ditch line and then it just sucked him in. And once his load started to shift, I mean, he was just in for the ride." But the Trooper also concluded "there was nothing wrong with the road, he (Appellant) just got off too far at the edge of the ditch and gravity took over."

         {¶8} Appellant offered a video of the incident and, ironically, the magistrate concluded the video ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.