UPPER SANDUSKY – The driver in a crash that took the lives of a groom on his wedding day and his friend pleaded guilty to multiple charges in Wyandot County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday.
Timothy N. Tebbe, 34, Nevada, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault in an agreement with prosecutors. Judge Kathleen A. Aubry has ordered a pre-sentence investigation and Tebbe will be sentenced at a later date.
In the plea agreement that Tebbe signed while in the courtroom, he will be sentenced to four years on each of the vehicular homicide charges and 18 months on the vehicular assault charge. The sentences are set to run concurrently much to the dismay of the family members of victim Elizabeth M. Shelton, who died in the crash.
“The sentences need to run consecutively so he will be in prison for nine and a half years instead of four. I lost my daughter and four years is not enough time,” said Shelton’s mom, Pearl Forker, who is now raising her grandchildren, Shelton’s two children.
Tebbe was arrested in November after being indicted by the Wyandot County Grand Jury on four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of vehicular assault and one count of aggravated vehicular assault. He originally pleaded not guilty during his arraignment.
“Speed and alcohol were definitely factors in the crash,” Wyandot County Sheriff Mike Hetzel has said.
Andrew M. Bloomfield, 27, Galion, died in the crash Oct. 12, just hours after saying his vows with Ruth D. Driskill Bloomfield, who was seriously injured in the crash in Antrim Township in Wyandot County.
Driskill Bloomfield was in the courtroom but did not want to comment on the case at this time.
Shelton, 26, of Bucyrus, was pronounced dead at the scene by Wyandot County Coroner Joseph Sberna. Andrew Bloomfield was flown to St. Rita’s Hospital in Lima, where he later died. She leaves behind two young children, ages 7 and 9.
Driskill Bloomfield, 37, also of Galion, was flown to the same hospital as her husband, along with Tebbe. Both Tebbe and Driskill Bloomfield were in the hospital for several days.
According to a preliminary investigation by the sheriff’s office, Tebbe was traveling north on Township Highway 135, just north of Township Highway 72, when he lost control of his 2014 Dodge Ram quad cab pickup. The truck traveled off the west side of the road and hit an embankment, which caused the truck to roll. The truck then hit a utility pole and rolled several more times, coming to rest in a cornfield. The speed of the truck was estimated to be at 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash.
Tebbe said during the change of plea hearing that he shared memories, fun and alcoholic beverages with his friends that fateful day before he piled into his truck with Bloomfield, Shelton, and Ruth Driskill Bloomfield.
“Ruth wanted to drive my truck so she drove to my house. We were going to pick up my wedding gift for them that I had forgotten. My house was seven or eight miles from the wedding reception site,” Tebbe said.
Tebbe’s attorney, Todd Anderson, said his client does not remember much after the crash due to a skull fracture he suffered from the impact.
Tebbe said he does remember bits and pieces and remembers seeing his friends injured and some of the first responders. Tebbe sobbed as he spoke in court and apologized to the victims and their families. He also stated that after looking at all the evidence and reports in the case laid out before him, he agrees with the evidence and is guilty of his charges.
Gasuras can be reached on Twitter @kimberlygasuras