Jason B. Woolley is set to go to trial on April 19 after pleading “not guilty” to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Woolley, 38, of Las Vegas, was arraigned in Fayette County Common Pleas Court on Feb. 17 for his alleged role in a March 14, 2015 two-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 26-year-old Fayette County man. The next pretrial hearing is scheduled for March 14 with a final pretrial set for April 4.
On March 14, 2015, Woolley was allegedly driving the vehicle that Billy Rankin was a passenger in at the time of the crash, according to authorities. Rankin died in the accident that occurred at 2:39 a.m. on State Route 41 North near the intersection of State Route 734 in Jefferson Township.
“Upon receiving a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Woolley, it was discovered that he had relocated to the state of Nevada,” said Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. “With the assistance of the Clark County, Nevada Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Marshal Service, Mr. Woolley was taken into custody in the state of Nevada without incident.”
Following an extradition hearing, the U.S. Marshal Service assisted in returning Woolley to Ohio, where he was released to deputies from Fayette County on Feb. 10. Woolley is currently being held in the Fayette County Jail.
On March 14, 2015, a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by Woolley was heading southbound on State Route 41 North when it struck a 2015 Freightliner semi-tractor trailer, driven by Jesse Allen, Jr., 49, of Hermitage, Tenn., as it was pulling from the parking lot of the Flying J truck stop onto State Route 41 North. Woolley’s vehicle struck the trailer of Allen’s vehicle on the rear driver’s side as it crossed both lanes of State Route 41, according to Stanforth.
Woolley and Rankin were trapped inside their vehicle before being extricated by the FCSO Crash Response Team. Rankin was transported to the Adena Medical Center in Jamestown where he was pronounced dead. Woolley was taken to the Miami Valley Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. Allen reported no injuries at the time of the crash.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica.