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Local News

Driver sentenced for violent crash in Dover two years ago

| September 21, 2022

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Sept. 21, 2022) – A Uhrichsville man has been ordered to spend 6 and a half to 8 and a half years in prison for the crash that injured a passenger who later died, himself, and two others.

Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Elizabeth Thomakos ordered the prison term this (Wednesday) morning for 28-year-old Larry Short who will also have to pay more than $4,400 in restitution to the owner of the vehicle he struck at a Dover intersection more than two years ago while fleeing from a traffic stop. 

“This county is seeing an unprecedented number of fleeing cases and this is the very thing that I always fear when I hear about those cases,“ Thomakos said. “You and everyone else who won’t stop for these gentlemen in their uniforms when you know they’re looking for you and you know you you’ve got a responsibility to a court somewhere, that failure to just step up is selfish and putting other people at risk.” 

22-year-old Joey DeMattio of Dover spent 16 months in a coma following the crash, succumbing to injuries he sustained last Christmas. His mother spoke during the hearing, saying she wanted Short to understand how his quick and selfish decision changed many lives forever.

“Joey’s little sister when 9 when the accident happened, and now she’s 11. She struggles every day with the pain and confusion of what happened, as well as Joey’s brother who will never be able to have that brotherly bond and connection ever again… And as for me, I will never feel normal again. I will carry this horrible pain inside of me for the rest of my life.”

The other driver and a second passenger in Short’s vehicle were also hospitalized following the collision. Short apologized to everyone he had harmed, saying he was committed to turning his life around and helping others achieve sobriety so they don’t make the same mistakes.

“My words mean very little but through my actions, I hope to one day prove how genuine my words actually are.”

Short previously pleaded guilty to counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, failing to stop after an accident, and operating a motor vehicle with willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons and property. He will be eligible for judicial release four years and six months into his sentence.

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