menu Home
Local News

Driver sentenced for fatal hit-and-run in New Phila

| June 23, 2023
Justin Brill, 23, awaits his punishment for the crash that killed Ronald Rader and seriously injured another man as they were sitting outside of the Beaver Creek Apartments. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 23, 2023) – The driver in last summer’s deadly hit-and-run crash outside of a New Philadelphia apartment complex is now in the county jail awaiting transfer to a state prison.

23-year-old Justin Brill will spend a mandatory six years behind bars and up to 13-and-half total for the June 14th crash outside of the Beaver Creek Apartments that killed 55-year-old Ronald Rader and seriously injured another man. Brill had a chance to speak before Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest handed down the punishment.

“I honestly just want to say I’m sorry to everybody and his family and to this community and I’m giving everybody my word that I am going to go into prison and better myself.” 

Brill previously pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, OVI, and failing to stop for an accident. Assistant Prosecutor Fred Scott says he was driving drunk and recklessly through a parking area when his car plowed into Rader and the other man while they were sitting outside during a blackout. 

“He hit Mr. Rader, pushed him through the locked steel door, severing his arm. He eventually died. [Brill]  continued on, hit a picnic table, destroying that, destroying a bike and hitting [the other man], who went over the car and he really doesn’t have much recollection now except that he had serious dental damage to his teeth. He had broken ribs and ended up with a blood clot in his leg.”

Instead of sticking around and calling 911, Brill reportedly took off and tried to cover up what happened by ditching his car and throwing pieces of it over a fence. Ernest called his actions after the crash “unexplainable.”

“[Either] you had complete disregard to what had happened to Mr. Rader or you were so intoxicated you couldn’t have possibly known that you hit him. I’m not sure but it’s all offensive.”

Rader’s sister hoped Brill would learn from the experience.

“I just pray that when you do go to jail that you get your life clean. No more drinking. No more alcohol. Get out and live a prosperous life and use this that happened to help other people so that other ones might not sit where you’re sitting today.”

The punishment comes with a lifetime driver’s license suspension and will be followed by 18 to 36 months of supervision by the Adult Parole Authority.  

Written by