Ohio Ambulance Driver Pleads Guilty to License Offense

Ohio Ambulance Driver Pleads Guilty to License Offense

News Nov 14, 2012

Nov. 14--An ambulance driver who did not have a valid driver's license while on duty and involved in a fatal crash in September pleaded guilty to a traffic offense in Madison County Municipal Court yesterday.

Todd Picken, 31, was driving for the Jefferson Township Fire Department in Madison County on Sept. 18 when a vehicle driven by 53-year-old Marcia "Jody" Frederick crossed the center line on Rt. 142 and hit the ambulance head-on.

Frederick, a West Jefferson resident and Columbus police detective on medical leave, was killed. Authorities have said they believe Frederick's medical condition caused her to veer across the road; Picken was not at fault and was not charged in the crash.

During the investigation, however, the State Highway Patrol discovered that he had not taken the proper steps to validate his driver's license following a drunken-driving conviction in 2011.

Since the crash, Picken took a required remedial-driving course and his license is now valid, said Greg Merritt, an assistant Madison County prosecutor. Picken pleaded guilty to the charge of no operator's license, and Merritt dismissed a charge of failure to reinstate a license.

Picken was fined $150 and ordered to pay court costs.

His employment status with the township was unclear yesterday.

hzachariah@dispatch.com

@hollyzachariah

Copyright 2012 - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

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Holly Zachariah
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