SIDNEY — A no contest plea was entered in Sidney Municipal Court Tuesday by the man accused of striking a downtown Sidney business, which resulted in a gas fire damaging the building.
Ryan Cathcart, 36, of Sidney, entered the plea to an amended charge of driving under the influence, breath. The original charge was DUI alcohol drugs first offense. Two other charges — second offense in 20 years with refusal and failure to control/weaving — were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
After Cathcart entered the no contest plea, Judge Duane Goettemoeller found him guilty of the amended charge.
Cathcart was charged following a crash on Monday, April 17, after he allegedly lost control of his Dodge pickup truck in the 100 block of North Ohio Avenue. The truck struck a natural gas line and building at 110 N. Ohio Ave. The vehicle sheered off the pipes and either a spark or friction ignited the gas.
Sidney Fire, along with firefighters from Botkins, Anna, Kettlersville, Lockington, Houston, Fort Loramie, Piqua, New Bremen, Port Jefferson and Jackson Center, battled the fire. Between 80 and 100 firefighters assisted with extinguishing the fire. Anna, Houston, Fort Loramie and Perry Port Salem EMS departments were also dispatched to the scene.
The building sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage. Adjacent buildings also sustained smoke and water damage.
Goettemoeller ordered Cathcart be evaluated for drug/alcohol abuse/mental health purposes and follow all recommendations. Cathcart must sign a release to allow the report be filed with the probation department. He must also be drug tested on the day of sentencing. He must provide current prescription bottles for all prescribed medications on the day of the test.
Cathcart was order to pay all costs associated with the evaluation and counseling recommendations.
The case was continued to June 6 at 1:30 p.m. for a pre-sentence investigation.