- Associated Press - Friday, September 30, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) - A driver accused of fatally striking a state trooper along a Cleveland interstate has pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide charges.

Cleveland.com (https://bit.ly/2d1WrVl ) reports 37-year-old Joshua Gaspar entered the plea Friday in county court for the collision that killed Trooper Kenneth Velez on Sept. 15.

Velez was hit while conducting traffic enforcement on Interstate 90. Prosecutors say Gaspar was driving about 78 mph and had taken a dose of methadone shortly before the collision.

Gaspar’s doctor said in a letter to defense attorney Jon Sinn that Gaspar has a prescription painkiller addiction, and the methadone they used to treat it wouldn’t impair his driving. The doctor says a test conducted on Gaspar the day after the crash showed he had only a therapeutic level of methadone in his system.

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Information from: cleveland.com, https://www.cleveland.com

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