Medical board considers case of Poland doctor for leaving fatal - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Medical board considers case of Poland doctor for leaving fatal crash scene

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Dr. Joseph Yurich jail booking photo Dr. Joseph Yurich jail booking photo
COLUMBUS, Ohio -

The Poland doctor convicted of leaving the scene of a 2015 fatal boating crash on Berlin Reservoir faces possible disciplinary action from the State Medical Board of Ohio.

Dr. Joseph Yurich was sentenced to ten days in jail in July after being convicted of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

Yurich's speedboat hit a fishing boat around midnight on May 9, 2015, on Berlin Lake. The man in the fishing boat, Neal Cuppett of Akron, died. Another man in Cuppett's boat was injured.

The state medical board has notified Yurich it intends to determine if the doctor will face discipline because of his conviction on the charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

If the board decides to discipline Yurich, it could range from a reprimand, probation, suspension, to permanent revocation of his license to practice medicine.

The board could also issue a civil penalty of up to $20,000.

Dr. Yurich has a right to request a hearing before the medical board.

As part of the sentence handed down by Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge John Durkin, Yurich was also placed on house arrest for 90 days with electronic monitoring, given five years of probation, and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service at the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, performing medical services for those that need it.

Yurich will also be ordered to take a mandatory course to maintain his boating license.

The prosecution requested the maximum sentence of 360 days in jail, $2,000 in fines, a five-year license suspension, and mandatory remedial boating courses.

However, the defense argued that the court was duty-bound, and directed by law, to consider Dr. Yurich's military background and a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Authorities believed Yurich was intoxicated at the time of the incident, but Judge John Durkin ruled the blood and urine samples taken from Yurich can't be used because they were not refrigerated before being analyzed.

Yurich settled a wrongful death negligence suit filed by Cuppett's estate.

In May, a second negligence suit was brought against Yurich by the man who was injured in the same incident. That case has been sent to mediation.

Yurich is a general surgeon at The Surgical Hospital at Southwoods in Boardman.  

The letter from the medical board to Dr. Yurich may be read here

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