Trucker wants back on road

LISBON – The attorney for Michael Bair, the man whose license was suspended for two years after the dump truck he was driving on state Route 7 overturned and killed another driver more than a year ago, filed a motion Monday to try to get Bair’s license back.

Before Columbiana County Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost, defense Colleen Hall Dailey gave more than one reason Bair’s license should not be suspended for two years.

First she cited that the plea agreement recommendation was only 90 days when Bair had agreed to plea to vehicular manslaughter in the death of David Mayfield, 35, Annesley Road, East Liverpool. She noted after listening to the evidence presented at the sentencing hearing, Frost had decided to increase it to two years. Besides the driving suspension, Bair was sentenced to 90 days in jail of which he served 45 days and fined $500.

Secondly, Dailey said Bair, who was in the court room Monday, had informed her his Commercial Driver’s License cannot be renewed in December while his license is suspended. Reportedly, if he does not renew it at that time, Bair said it will cost him thousands of dollars later.

Additionally, Dailey said Bair is having trouble getting insurance for a suspended driver from his previous insurance company. He was granted limited driving privileges for his community service, jail, scheduled court hearings, scheduled job interviews and medical appointments. However, he would not be eligible to drive commercially for two years. Without insurance, Bair cannot use his limited driving privileges.

Frost suggested shopping around because different insurance companies have different requirements.

When asked for his opinion, Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey Jr. said while it is true 90 days was the plea agreement recommendation, he deferred to Frost’s discretion in the decision he made during the sentencing hearing in May.

“At the time I made this decision, it was certainly not an easy one,” Frost said. “I tried to balance a lot of things… I felt comfortable with it because during that time the defendant would not be able to exercise his commercial driving privileges.”

Before making the decision, Frost said he wanted to take some other things into consideration and planned to do some research. Frost asked if Mayfield’s family, including his widow, Diana, and their attorney were notified about the motion hearing. Humphrey agreed they should be told about the request, but have not yet been notified.

“What is being asked of the court would be a modification downward of what was imposed here when they were required to be notified,” Humphrey said.

Frost said he would wait to make a decision, allowing Mayfield’s family the opportunity to write to the court and let him know their opinion on reducing the sentence. In addition, he gave the attorneys 30 days to provide him with any evidence or information to back or dispute the request for a lesser driving suspension.