Driver indicted in fatal New Year's Eve crash near Upper Arlington

A 33-year-old Northwest Side man is accused of driving recklessly and causing a fatal crash at an intersection near Upper Arlington on New Year's Eve.

Daniel P. Merz, of Wyandotte Road, was indicted Monday on one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault.

Merz was driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla north on Riverside Drive about 9:10 p.m. Dec. 31 when he ran a red light at Nottingham Road and collided with a 1999 Toyota Camry, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office reported.

Brandon J. Sega, 25, a backseat passenger in the Camry, died at the scene. Jason Lonnemann, 24, the driver of the Camry, was critically injured. The Camry was turning south onto Riverside from Nottingham when it was struck broadside.

"The tragic death of a young man and serious injury to another was the result of excessive speed and reckless driving," Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Tuesday in a statement announcing the indictment.

Although deputies initially reported that alcohol was a factor in the crash, O'Brien said blood tests on Merz "showed no alcohol or drugs."

Merz is scheduled to be arraigned on the felony offenses Sept. 7 in Common Pleas Court.

Read more