MOUNT VERNON — Ervin Blackston was sentenced to 90 days in jail Monday in Hocking County Common Pleas Court on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, a second degree felony, in the death of Michelle Kazlausky.
Kazlausky, a Mount Vernon High School graduate, was killed while participing in the Pelotonia Bicycle Race in Hocking County last August when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by Blackston.
He was given credit for 87 days already spent in jail and was fined $750. According to Hocking County Prosecutor Laina Fetherolf, Blackston can serve three days in jail or do six days of community service work. He was also given one year of nonreporting probation, a 365-day license suspension with 185 days dismissed.
Blackston also faces a civil lawsuit.
A wrongful death civil suit against Blackston has been filed in Hocking County on behalf of Kazlausky’s estate.
The reason for filing the civil suit is two-fold. According to Sean Harris of the Columbus law firm Kitrick, Lewis and Harris, which represents Kazlausky’s estate, part of the reason for the lawsuit is about education as well as monetary considerations.
“It would be disingenuous to say it wasn’t the money,” Harris said. “She has a family who aren’t going to have Mom around anymore.
“The two goals are primarily, No. 1, educational, to inform the public about the importance of uninsured motorist coverage. Because most people don’t know what that is.”
Blackston, who was driving his brother’s pickup when he hit Kazlausky, was not insured nor did his brother have insurance on the truck. Harris said Kazlausky had the foresight to have coverage on her automobile policy to cover being hit by someone who is not insured.
“Who would think, ‘I’m riding my bike. Why would car insurance have anything to do with it?’” Harris said. “A lot of people don’t know what that is. Michelle was smart enough to protect herself by buying that coverage.”