Families of crash victims want the driver of two recent crashes behind bars
Families of victims from a fatal crash two weeks ago want answers as to why the man who police say went left of center and killed their loved ones, was still allowed on the street to drive and cause another accident Friday morning in Milton Township.
"I haven't really grieved because I'm angry," said Tammi Petrosky. "I'm angry that this person is on the street. He could have killed another set of people this morning."
Thirty-three-year-old Gregory Barnhart is the man at the center of both crashes. Two weeks ago, Howard Mounts and Bradley Ronci were killed when Barnhart's vehicle went left of center on State Route 534. Howard was Lesley Mounts's father.
"Perfect way to describe it, it's a nightmare. Every day I wake up, and it's a nightmare," said Mounts.
Ronci was Tammi Petrosky's only son.
"It's just terrible to wake up in the morning without him. It's terrible to go to bed at night without him. I miss his smile. I miss his laughter," said Petrosky.
Charges are pending in that case against Barnhart, but it's taking time. Time that Sgt. Brian Holt, with OSP, says is needed to make sure they get it right.
"We work fluidly with the prosecutor's office," said Sgt. Holt. "We do not routinely ever charge anybody immediately following any traffic fatality. While that does not always seem right in the eyes specifically to those family members that are left behind, we certainly sympathize with that. But we have to be careful always to follow evidenciary rules and not jump the gun. Once we charge somebody with something, depending on the type of charge, there is a clock that begins, and once that clock begins, there is a case that has to be heard; meaning all evidence has to be presented, all testimony has to be given, trials, etc."
Sgt. Holt says it's very rare to see what happened on Friday.
"I can tell you that this instance is such a fluke that within two weeks of being involved in a traffic fatality, the very driver at fault in that traffic fatality has put himself in a precarious position yet again."
One could argue it certainly won't help Barnhart's case.
"It would have been bad luck if he were not impaired this morning and involved in a serious crash, we could chalk that up to bad luck, at this point I would say we can chalk it up to recklessness," said Sgt. Holt.
Mounts and Petrosky couldn't believe it. "More anger than anything and definitely just shock. We are really upset."
They want laws, or the system changed so that victims don't have to wait so long for justice and that more families don't get put in harm's way.
"How do you send somebody home that has killed two people that meant the world to two different families, and it's just very upsetting. It's upsetting to all of us," said Petrosky.
"If we can get some kind of justice, at least we can feel a little bit at ease about it," said Mounts. "I don't think we've had time to actually process what's actually happened."
Barnhart is facing charges of OVI and failure to control for the crash in Milton Township. His license was suspended since he refused a breathalyzer test. He'll be summoned for court. As for the double fatal crash two weeks ago, prosecutors say charges are pending on the toxicology results.