Driver in triple fatality found guilty

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By Carol McIntire
The jury trial of a Beloit man charged in connection with the deaths of three individuals in a 2023 traffic crash was canceled last week after a plea agreement was reached.
Douglas R. Mackey of 26550 Northshore Dr., agreed to withdraw a guilty plea and entered a no contest plea to three counts of vehicular manslaughter, second-degree misdemeanors, and one count of driving an unsafe vehicle, a minor misdemeanor. The plea came on Feb. 27, which was to be the day of the trial in Carroll County Municipal Court.
Mackey was the driver of a Ford 650 truck that went left of center and struck a 2025 Honda Odyssey with four people inside on April 10. Three of the persons in the car died as result of their injuries.
Charges were filed in municipal court June 23, 2023, following an investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
During the hearing, which Judge Gary L. Willen termed a status conference, Mackey, flanked by his attorney, Tracey Laslo, withdrew not guilty pleas to the charges and entered the no contest pleas leaving the judge to issue a finding. Willen then issued a finding of guilty on all charges.
Willen addressed Mackey, saying he understood there was a question on the unsafe vehicle charge as the vehicle Mackey was driving was owned by someone else.
“The fact is you were driving it, you are responsible,” Willen said.

Sentencing is scheduled March 27 at 10 a.m.
Prosecuting Attorney Steven D. Barnett said vehicular manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and up to a $750 fine. The unsafe vehicle charge carries a $150 fine.
Barnett explained the difference between misdemeanor vehicular homicide and felony vehicular homicide.
“The difference as stated in the statute is in the definition of the elements you have to prove,” he said. “Felony vehicular homicide is when someone is operating a vehicle under the influence of some type of drugs or alcohol or driving with a suspended license – the driver is either impaired or reckless.”

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