The special prosecutor in the case of Terri Camp, Woodville, who is seeking to have her driving privileges re-instated after being convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide, has asked the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court for a hearing continuance.
Christy Cole, who was appointed special prosecutor by Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan, said Thursday she has filed a motion asking the court to re-schedule Camp’s hearing because of a scheduling conflict with her private practice.
Cole has also filed a motion with the court opposing Camp’s request.
Common Pleas Court Judge Bruce Winters had scheduled a hearing on Camp’s request for Feb. 26.
On paper, Camp appears to be someone who has turned her life around and overcome past problems with alcohol.
Since her release from prison for a conviction in 1993 of aggravated vehicular homicide committed while driving drunk, she has earned the certification for becoming an optician and is employed by a Woodville optometrist. Camp, 45, has also been a participant in a 12-step program and completed the Healing, Encouraging, Abstinence, and Recovery Through Sobriety (HEARTS) program.
After pleading guilty to the charge in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court, she served 10 years of the 4 to 10-year sentence that also permanently revoked her driving privileges.
But after going nearly 17 years without a driver’s license, Camp, of Woodville, is now seeking to have her license restored.
She filed a motion earlier this month with the court to modify or terminate the suspension of her driving privileges.
Ohio Revised Code allows motorists who’ve had their licenses suspended for life to file a motion with the sentencing court to modify or terminate the suspension after 15 years from when the suspension was imposed.
Other requirements are:
• The person hasn’t been found guilty of any felony or any offense involving a moving violation.
• The person has proof of financial responsibility.
• If the suspension was imposed because the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she must successfully complete an alcohol or drug treatment program and not have been found guilty of alcohol or drug-related offense.
Camp’s motion includes a document issued by the Grange Insurance Co. through the Wittkamp Insurance Agency, Woodville, that indicates she would qualify for a policy that meets the state’s liability standard if her driving privileges were re-instated.
In addition, 99 persons signed a petition supporting her motion, including Richard Harman, the mayor of Woodville; Roy Whitehead, the village police chief, as well as other elected officials, area residents, and community leaders.
“I have personal knowledge of her outstanding efforts at rehabilitation including her continued support of AA,” the petition says. “Terri’s behavior since her release from prison has been exemplary. It is my opinion that restoring Terri’s driving privileges would not pose a threat to public safety.”
Richard Hayes, her attorney, said Camp, who has since married and has the surname, Kruse, has met the requirements set by state law for reinstatement of her license.
“In real life there is nothing more she can do,” he said. “She hasn’t drank and has rehabilitated herself. She came out of prison in recovery. This is one of those situations in which prison changed a person for the better.”
He said he may ask the court to reinstate her license on a probationary basis, subject to monitoring her continued participation in a rehabilitation program and other criteria.
For Jane Miller, the early morning of April 3, 1993 was a parent’s worst nightmare.
About 12:45 a.m. she was driving her 14-year-old son, Ronald, and two of his friends home after a youth dance. As her car headed west on State Route 51 in Clay Township, the auto driven by Terri Camp crossed the centerline.
Miller, of Oregon, swerved but Camp’s vehicle hit her vehicle behind the driver’s door, severely injuring Ronald.
He was taken by Life Flight to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center where he died.
Miller’s 13-page statement to the Clay Township Police Department draws a vivid picture of the tragedy.
After the crash, she yelled, “Is everyone all right?” only to hear Ronald’s friends say yes but not hearing her son respond.
She recalled seeing a technician trying to get a blunt pair of scissors into his mouth to open his airway.
Looking out the door from a rescue squad she caught a glimpse of her son being taken on a stretcher to the helicopter.
At the emergency room at St. Charles Hospital, where she and Ron’s friends were transported for observation and treatment, she pleaded with doctors to clear her quickly so she could get to St. Vincent’s but her son had died before she arrived.
For his funeral service, she picked out flower arrangements that were purple and gold – the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, her son’s favorite basketball team.
Cole said she was also moved by Miller’s statement.
“It’s an absolutely tragic accident that didn’t have to happen,” Cole said. “The family is still very much grieving. The victims are very clear they want the original court order upheld.”
She said Miller will be called to testify at the hearing.
Cole’s motion notes Camp had previous drunk driving arrests.
“The State recognizes the positive steps Defendant has taken to have sobriety and hopes she will continue to work on those issues. However, a young life was lost due to Defendant’s reckless and selfish choices that night. Ronald Miller’s death was completely avoidable and senseless. The Defendant didn’t have to get into her vehicle and drive. That was her choice,” the motion says.
The motion also includes a list of persons opposing Camp’s request.