A Ravenna Township man who tearfully apologized to a college football player whom he seriously injured during an alcohol-related, two-car crash in Ravenna Township in November 2011 was sentenced to one year in prison.
Joshua J. Frey, 36, of 6230 Ferndale Road, was sentenced this week by Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow, who found that the crime caused "serious physical harm" to Clayton Hull, a University of Mount Union student. Enlow suspended Frey's driver's license for one year, ordered him to make restitution of almost $3,900 to his victim for medical bills and lost tuition and fined him $375.
In tears, Frey turned to Clayton Hull and his family in court, apologized for his actions and begged them to forgive him someday.
"First let me express my deepest apologies," he said. " I didn't mean to hurt nobody … I'm asking for your forgiveness someday, even though I don't think you'll be able to forgive me. I apologize for what happened. I wish I could change it."
Frey pleaded guilty to vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony, and operating a vehicle under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor, in September. He faced a maximum of 18 months in prison for the two-car crash on Nov. 13, 2011.
Frey later admitted to driving drunk on that night, crashing a 2005 Chevrolet Venture minivan belonging to his wife's grandmother into Hull's Chevrolet Blazer on S.R. 14 near where it crosses S.R. 5. Hull, who was not wearing his seatbelt, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol, was ejected from his SUV into the middle of S.R. 14. He was taken to Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, then by LifeFlight helicopter to Akron City Hospital.
Frey ran home and reported the minivan stolen. Portage County sheriff's deputies and highway patrol troopers responded to his house, investigated, and Frey turned himself in to face charges the next day.
Clayton Hull said Monday he suffered a broken neck and a crushed nerve in his arm as a result of the wreck.
The crash caused Hull, then a 20-year-old sophomore wide receiver on the Purple Raiders football team, to miss the remainder of the football season and the school year. He also did not take the field for the football team this year, when they are again in contention for the Division III national championship.
Defense attorney Joseph Patituce said his client, who is being treated for alcohol addiction, is married with a 16-month-old child and the only adult in the home who works. He said Frey's family could lose their home if he goes to prison.
Enlow said he would allow Frey to report to the Portage County jail to begin serving his sentence on Jan. 4. Patituce said in court that his client still faces a civil lawsuit over the crash.
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