Beacon Journal staff report
STOW: A Hamilton County-area truck driver, accused of causing the September accident that killed a 42-year-old Kent man, is scheduled to return to court next month.
Daniel Ballard, 48, is charged with vehicular manslaughter, a second-degree misdemeanor, and failing to maintain an assured clear distance, a minor misdemeanor.
He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment last week in Stow Municipal Court. His case is assigned to Judge Lisa Coates.
Ballard, who drives for Ram Motor Freight, was behind William Zeller’s sport utility vehicle, heading westbound on Interstate 76 at 7:47 a.m. Sept. 6.
Police said Zeller was slowing for traffic in response to another crash when his SUV was struck from behind by a tractor trailer driven by Ballard.
Zeller’s vehicle then collided with a third vehicle. That driver was unharmed.
Ballard was treated and released from an area hospital. Zeller died at the scene.
Ballard is free on bond.
He is expected to return to court Nov. 5 for a pretrial.