CELINA — A Korean man accused of causing a collision that killed a 3-year-old Minster girl last month recently appeared in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
A grand jury indicted Jinghao Xu, 50, of Hamilton, on one count of vehicular homicide, a fourth-degree felony. Xu appeared in court on Oct. 25 and is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 9, where he is expected to enter a plea to the charge.
Xu made an initial appearance in Mercer County Municipal Court on Oct. 17 stemming from the Oct. 15 collision at the intersection of Ohio 119 and U.S. 127 in Granville Township. During that appearance Xu, flanked by an interpreter, was ordered held on a $250,000 bond with a 10 percent cash provision.
According to a crash report, Xu was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Express Van westbound on Ohio 119. He reportedly stopped at the stop sign and entered the intersection. Upon entering the intersection, the van was struck by a northbound 2002 Chevrolet Prism. Three people in the Prism, including the driver, were treated for injuries, as was Xu.
After the crash, law enforcement officials checked into Xu’s immigration status because he reportedly told them he was not a U.S. citizen and his Illinois operator’s license had reportedly been canceled.
During his initial hearing, Mercer County Municipal Court Judge James Scheer noted there appeared to be no evidence drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision. If convicted on the charge, Xu faces a maximum of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.