On the night of December 7, 2018, Donald J. and Wilma Smith were driving along Route 39 in Washington Township when they were struck head-on by a Cadillac SRX. The driver – Yellow Creek Township Trustee Glenn McKenzie – reportedly lost control of his vehicle, crossed over the center, and struck the Smiths in the other lane.
A teenager named Amber Lynn Korbel and a passenger were behind the Smiths in a Chevy Impala. When McKenzie struck the Smiths, Korbel consequently hit them from behind. Though Korbel and her passenger did not sustain any injuries, McKenzie and the Smiths had to be airlifted to the hospital.
Due to the damage and injuries, Wilma Smith and her husband’s estate filed a lawsuit against McKenzie, Korbel, and their insurance company Ohio Mutual Insurance Group.
McKenzie was accused of driving under the influence, making him the subject of a wrongful death claim. Also, John and Helen’s Tavern, the American Legion John Adams Post 442, and the Tangerine Lounge were also part of the lawsuit. They were hit with a liquor liability claim due to the belief that they irresponsibly served McKenzie alcohol that night.
Korbel was named in the suit as she was believed to be following too closely behind the Smiths. And the insurance company was named on an allegation that there was a breach of contract in regard to the amount of uninsured motorist coverage that the Smiths were supposed to have.
Though a new lawsuit was recently filed, McKenzie has already been judged and sentenced. At first, he admitted to being guilty of driving under the influence, as well as two counts each of vehicular assault and aggravated vehicular assault. His punishment was set to 45 months in prison and having his license stripped for the rest of his life.
Later, he appealed this sentence and the case went back to court. After some consideration, the court knocked nine months off of his prison time. The 411 days that he had already served counted toward his sentence, leaving him with less than two years to go. Additionally, they only suspended his license for a decade and ordered him to pay $208,890 in restitution to the victims.