COLUMBUS — A preliminary hearing for a South Solon driver accused of fatally injuring a Barnesville man in a construction zone early Saturday morning has been scheduled for Oct. 10 in the Franklin County Municipal Court. Edward A. Torres, 30, is facing one count of aggravated vehicular homicide while impaired, a second-degree felony, and aggravated vehicular homicide while driving reckless in a construction zone, a third-degree felony, according to the court’s website. Torres is suspected of being impaired when he struck and killed Steve L. Cook, 59, on Interstate 70 in Franklin County. Torres was released from the Franklin County Jail after Callif Bonding LLC posted a surety bond on his behalf. He was ordered not to consume alcohol or abuse drugs as a condition of his bond. A 2009 Honda Odyssey operated by Torres entered the eastbound lanes of I-70 at Hilliard-Rome Road at 1:35 a.m. Saturday before moving into the construction zone where three right lanes were closed to traffic. He passed a marked deputy sheriff’s cruiser that had emergency lights activated. “He drove around barricades and around construction equipment before striking a worker,” said Columbus police Sgt. Brooke Wilson, who oversees the Accident Investigation Unit. According to the affidavit, “Mr. Torres came upon a large pavement roller in the middle lane of those closed lanes and switched to the rightmost lane. Mr. Torres took his eyes off the roadway to look down at his cellular phone and when he raised his head to look back at the roadway there was a construction worker … directly in front of him.” The Odyssey then struck Cook, who was taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and pronounced dead. Investigators noticed Torres had an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the cup holder of the Odyssey just adjacent to the steering wheel, according to the affidavit. He told authorities he had a few beers to drink. Investigators reported he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Court records show Torres was convicted of an operating while impaired charge stemming from a 2008 stop when he was 21 years old. In that case, he did not have have the headlights of the vehicle turned on and attempted to turn where there was no road. His blood alcohol came back at .203 — more than twice the legal limit (0.08) in Ohio, Clark County records show.
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