COSHOCTON (WJER) (Jan. 27, 2022) – Grand jurors in Coshocton County have handed down an eight-count indictment against the driver accused of causing the September 26th crash that claimed the lives of two people including a Dover woman whose husband survived but was critically injured.
The indictment issued Monday charges 30-year-old Shannon Ziegler of Warsaw with counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. Ziegler was also indicted on two counts of driving under the influence, which Coshocton County Prosecutor Jason Given says is one of the factors that can escalate the charges for a crash-related death to felonies.
“That’s the first thing that racks the charge up. The next thing is that if the person was driving recklessly as that term is defined in the law.”
There are eight counts in total, including two homicide charges each of deceased victims, although Given says Ziegler can only be sentenced for one if he’s convicted.
“There are two different theories of driving under the influence that are being used inside the indictment, and each of those then necessitates a different statute or subsection of the aggravated vehicular assault section of the Ohio Revised Code as well as the aggravated vehicular assault section.
Blood tests requested by the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office detected alcohol in Ziegler’s system at the time of the crash where he reportedly went left of center on U.S. 36, striking the vehicle being driven by 64-year-old Thomas Weigand of Dover head-on. One of his passengers, 74-year-old Mary Paris of Portland, Oregon was pronounced dead at the scene, and his wife, Elizabeth, succumbed to her injuries on October 7th. Ziegler made his initial court appearance Monday and was released ahead of his trial on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.