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Driver pleads guilty for rollover ATV crash that killed passenger

| November 6, 2023
Mitchell Smith, 22, of Port Washington stands next to his attorney during a change of plea hearing in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court. (WJER News)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Nov. 6, 2023) – The driver in a deadly ATV crash last December is facing mandatory prison time after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.

22-year-old Mitchell Smith of Port Washington admitted to that charge and OVI Monday morning when he appeared before Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Elizabeth Thomakos.

Smith was accused of being under the influence of a drug, alcohol, or a combination of both when the Yamaha side-by-side he was driving overturned in a field along River Road Southwest, injuring him and killing his 21-year-old passenger.* Aggravated vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony carrying a mandatory 2 to 8 years behind bars and up to 12 years total along with a lifetime driver’s license suspension.

Smith will return to court to learn his punishment on January 3rd.

* The victim’s mother asked WJER News not to identify him publicly, wanting him to be remembered for who he was and not what happened to him.

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