Third evaluation says man competent for trial in fatal crash


The Associated Press



COLUMBUS — A third psychological evaluation of a man accused of causing a crash that killed two pedestrians in downtown Columbus — including a former Delaware resident — has found that he is competent to stand trial.

The crash claimed the life of former Delaware resident Stephanie Fibelkorn, 21.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the evaluation appears to break the tie between two previous reports in which psychologists disagreed about the competency of 62-year-old Terrance Trent. He is scheduled for a competency hearing in court on Tuesday.

Trent is accused of recklessly driving his truck into a school bus that then hit Fibelkorn and another pedestrian on Dec. 12. He has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide charges. A message seeking comment was left with his public defender Friday.

One psychologist concluded Trent is incompetent to stand trial and suffers from “disorganized and delusional thinking” and possibly dementia. A second evaluation deemed him competent for trial.

The midmorning crash involving a bus carrying three Groveport Madison schoolchildren happened near the Ohio Statehouse, in view of several bystanders. Witnesses said Trent’s speeding truck ran a red light.

Fibelkorn died at the scene. City engineer William Lewis, 58, died on Dec. 29. Lewis had been walking to a meeting with Fibelkorn, who was interning with the city. The bus driver and a passenger in Trent’s truck were injured.

Lewis was transported to Grant Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries on Dec. 30.

Fibelkorn, an Olentangy Local Schools graduate, had just finished an internship at Lewis’ office when the crash occurred.

Questions about competency deal with a defendant’s mental state at the time of trial, not his mental state at the time the alleged crime was committed.

The Associated Press