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Dawson-Bryant superintendent charged with OVI

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 10:13 PM EDT
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - Dawson-Bryant Local School District Superintendent Stephen Easterling was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle intoxicated (OVI) after crashing into a car, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The accident happened just before 11:30 Friday night at an intersection near Coal Grove.

Justin Jones says he was in his car, stopped at a stop sign on County Road 6, when Easterling turned his truck left onto the road from state Route 243 and hit him head-on.

Jones tells WSAZ he suffered minor injuries to his wrist and leg, and his car was badly damaged.

According to court documents, Easterling told the responding trooper he cut the turn too soon.

The complaint says a breath test revealed Easterling’s blood alcohol content was .109. The legal limit in Ohio is .08.

Court documents say Easterling told Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers he had five or six beers that night --the last one half an hour before the crash.

Jones says he was stunned when he learned the man who hit him was a superintendent.

“How could he be a role model to the kids?” Jones said. “It could’ve been anyone, a student or pregnant mother.”

The president of the Dawson-Bryant school board is expected to release a statement on this, but WSAZ has not received that statement yet.

Easterling declined to comment.

According to court documents, Easterling pleaded guilty in court Monday and is ordered to perform 30 hours of community service. He’s also fined $500, along with court costs.

The documents say if Easterling completes a 72-hour Ohio approved program within 60 days, his sentence of 20 days in the Lawrence County Jail will be suspended.

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