Sentencing set for Alum Creek boater involved in fatal accident


A Westerville man, who pleaded “no contest” to failing to take action to avoid a collision that killed an Australian teenager in an August 2015 boating accident at Alum Creek Lake, will be sentenced July 1.

Andrew Lehman, 36, of Worthington Road, Westerville, pleaded no contest to the charge at a hearing on May 3 in Delaware Municipal Court. Municipal Judge Marianne Hemmeter accepted his plea and found him guilty on the failure to take action to avoid collision charge, which is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. She ordered that he undergo a pre-sentence investigation.

A sentencing hearing is now set for July 1 at 4:30 p.m. in municipal court, court documents indicate.

At the May 3 hearing, Hemmeter said the charge can carry a fine or up to 30 days in jail.

Three other charges against Lehman — reckless operation, failure to travel at a safe speed and failure to keep proper look-out, all misdemeanor charges — were dismissed under a plea agreement.

Last Aug. 2, Morgan Montgomery, 19, was water-skiing with a summer camp group when she fell into the water. As the camp’s boat circled back to pick her up, the boat that Lehman was operating struck Montgomery, killing her, prosecutors told Hemmeter.

Montgomery’s body was recovered the following day by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Prosecutors said a condition of the plea agreement with Lehman is that the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office will not take the case to a grand jury to seek felony charges.

Prosecutors added that Montgomery’s family was consulted on the agreement and said they would either being flying to Ohio for the sentencing or would be speaking via video conferencing.

Lehman was originally charged on Jan. 7.

ODNR officials said that Lehman had fully cooperated with the investigation.

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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