A driver who drove under the influence of alcohol in a crash that killed a Graham High School student last fall received a decade-long prison sentence Monday.
During a sentencing hearing, Dylan W.G. Lambert, 28, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the maximum consecutive prison sentence he could receive for charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. In addition to the prison sentence, Lambert’s driver’s license was suspended for life.
The charges against Lambert stem from a Nov. 3, 2017, crash. A Champaign County Sheriff’s Office crash report states that on that evening a vehicle driven by Gabe Wier was traveling southbound on state Route 235. As Wier tried to turn left onto Shanley Road, Lambert attempted to pass Wier’s vehicle on the left on a double-yellow centerline.
Lambert struck Wier’s vehicle in the right rear, forcing Wier’s vehicle off the roadway to the left. Wier’s vehicle struck a ditch causing the vehicle to roll over and come to a final rest on its tires.
The crash report states Lambert had an alcohol test value of .232 during the crash.
A passenger in Wier’s vehicle, Sara Hess, 15, died in the crash. Wier sustained injuries while Lambert and passenger Clint Miller were airlifted by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton.
During Monday’s hearing, the courtroom was full of supporters for Hess and Wier.
Wier recounted the events of that night saying the time since his girlfriend’s passing has been hell.
Hess’ mother, Cheryl, spoke about how their family was planning an upcoming 16th birthday party and about Hess’ plans to attend Ohio State University to become a radiologist. She spoke further about how Hess’ death has caused their family pain.
Throughout the hearing, Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi referenced a perception the state and the victim’s family held that Lambert did not have genuine remorse for his conduct.
“He may be regretful for how the case has impacted his life and while he may be sorry for the fact that he hurt others, there’s a feeling that he doesn’t truly appreciate the impact and the pain that he’s caused to these families and it’s pain that’s not going to go away in a week, or a month, or a year, or a lifetime,” Talebi said. “It’s pain that’s going to be left with this family and remembered by this family and felt by these families at every holiday, every birthday, every family gathering for the rest of their lives.”
Prior to the start of sentencing proceedings, Lambert admitted guilt to bond violations after social media pictures showed him consume alcohol in April and May. A condition of bond prohibited him from consuming alcohol. It was noted the brand of beer Lambert was drinking in the photos was the same brand found in his vehicle on Nov. 3, 2017.
Judge Nick Selvaggio questioned Lambert’s driving under the influence of alcohol considering multiple members in his family had previously committed these offenses. Selvaggio also noted Lambert’s criminal history as a juvenile and adult were for alcohol related offenses and the fact that he drove uninsured at the time of the offense.
Lambert was fined $2,000.
Upon his release, Lambert faces post-release control for a period of three years.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.