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Retired IRS Agent Gets Month in Jail for Causing Fatal Crash in Ohio

James Farley pleaded guilty last month to aggravated vehicular homicide, which is a third-degree felony.

By Cory Shaffer, (TNS)

A retired IRS agent who was speeding in his Bentley and caused a crash that left a 22-year-old woman dead last year is headed to jail.

Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court Judge David Matia on Tuesday sentenced James Farley, 59, to spend 30 days in the county jail for the collision that killed Samantha Nelson.

Farley, who suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated vehicular homicide, which is a third-degree felony.

After his jail stint, Farley will be on probation for three years. Matia also suspended Farley’s driver’s license for five years.

Farley spent nearly three decades working for the IRS and built a home with his wife in Richmond Heights. He had no criminal history.

His attorney, Donald C. Williams, said in court filings that Farley was a devout Christian who founded a Bible study. The crash made Farley realize that he had become too focused on material possessions, and he has since spent several hours a day reading the Bible.

The crash came about 2 p.m. March 1, near the West 25th Street exit on Interstate 90.

Williams wrote in court filings that Farley was on his way back to his home after he picked up food from Joe’s Deli in Rocky River. He said Farley got behind a red Honda Civic on the highway. As the driver began to speed up, Farley followed suit to keep pace until the two were going well in excess of the speed limit, Williams wrote.

An Ohio Department of Transportation vehicle’s dashboard camera captured the two vehicles as they sped by moments before the crash.

Farley rear-ended Nelson’s Jeep, and both vehicles crashed into the highway’s median. The Jeep rolled over onto its side, and Nelson was thrown from the vehicle onto the highway. The collision triggered a five-car accident. The Honda was not involved in the crash.

Medics rushed Nelson to MetroHealth Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead. Farley and another person involved in the crash also went to the hospital.


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