Middletown man indicted in death of Rumpke worker

A Middletown man was indicted Wednesday by a Butler County grand jury for the death of a Rumpke employee.

Following months of investigation by the Ohio Highway Patrol, the grand jury indicted Brian Jankovich, 41, with a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony.

Dan Phillips, an assistant Butler County prosecutor, said Jankovich’s attorney has been notified of the direct indictment and an arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Jankovich was also indicted on vehicular homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor, and vehicular manslaughter, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the lesser charges were sought in the indictment because he did not want to take chances in this case.

“It is with an abundance of caution that I seek multiple charges in certain cases where a lesser included offense may be considered by a tryer of fact – a jury,” Gmoser said. “I never want a situation to arise where a judge states that the principle charge is all that may be considered by because no lesser included offense was also included in an indictment.”

The aggravated vehicular manslaughter charges Jankovich was indicated on, in separate subsections of the law, requires jury to determine there was proof of an impairment at the time of the crash, Gmoser said.

Phillips said that part of the aggravated vehicular assault charge includes causing the death of another while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If convicted, Jankovich could face a prison term of up to eight years.

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David J. Evans, 52, of Cincinnati, had stopped the Rumpke truck on Central Avenue near Marshall Road about 6:30 a.m. July 30. A tan 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, operated by Jankovich, struck Evans and pinned him against the rear of the Rumpke truck, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol’s preliminary report.

In the highway patrol’s Aug. 14 crash report, troopers suspected Jankovich to have been under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.

Jankovich was traveling eastbound on Central Avenue at about 42 mph, seven miles above the 35 mph speed limit. The patrol said the Rumpke truck was properly lit, and the employee was wearing his florescent vest.

That report said Jankovich was following too closely No other distractions were noted on the report.

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Evans was transported by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead later on July 30.

Rumpke officials said Evans had been an employee for about 15 years.

Jankovich was transported to Atrium Medical Center with serious non-life threatening injuries.

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