Ohio judge looking into competency of driver charged in 125-mph highway crash that killed 2


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FREMONT, Ohio — A northern Ohio court is still considering whether a man who troopers say was traveling at more than 125 mph will be competent to stand trial on charges that he killed a 77-year-old couple in a fiery crash on the Ohio Turnpike.

Andrew Gans, of Kent, was found incompetent to stand trial last year and sent to a psychiatric hospital in Toledo. The law allows the court a year to determine if Gans can become competent to stand trial.

The deadline for that decision is the end of February. Gans had a pre-trial hearing in the case Thursday in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court.

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt said that if Gans is not competent by then, his office could attempt to have him civilly committed to a psychiatric facility.

"It would probably be the end of any criminal charges against him," Stierwalt told The News-Messenger (http://ohne.ws/1AYfXIV).

Gans had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to vehicular homicide charges after authorities say he struck a minivan in November 2013, killing a Toledo couple.

Troopers said Gans was driving so fast that they weren't able to catch or keep up with his car before the crash near Fremont, about 40 miles southeast of Toledo.

Gans has a history of mental health issues and has been hospitalized for psychiatric care before, his attorney has said.

Troopers said Gans told them after the crash that he had been drinking and took prescription drugs, but authorities later said blood tests showed he did not have either in his system.

Gans suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation soon after the crash.

Information from: The News-Messenger, http://www.thenews-messenger.com

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