Burkett pleads 'not guilty' to OVI

Published: May. 16, 2019 at 10:43 PM EDT
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Bill Burkett pleaded not guilty to OVI, in connection with an accident that put a St. John's Jesuit student in the hospital.

He made the plea Tuesday in Maumee Municipal Court. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 18.

Maumee Municipal Court Judge Daniel Hazard recused himself Monday and notified the Ohio Supreme Court to assign a new judge to the case.

Burkett, Toledo's commissioner of Economic & Business Development, has been placed on unpaid leave by the city following an accident that left a St. John's Jesuit High School student in a medically induced coma.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Noah Tolson, 15, was running on Russell near Jerome Road when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Burkett.

Tolson was rushed to a nearby hospital with serious head injuries. His family tells 13abc that Tolson needed brain surgery and is in an induced coma.

Tolson is a sophomore at St. John’s Jesuit and a member of the track and cross country team.

On Thursday, his classmates held a prayer service for him, also making a banner that said “Prayers for Noah” with students signatures.

In a statement to 13abc, a city spokeman says, "Right now, we are all praying for Noah to make a full recovery. All our thoughts and prayers and with him and his family during this very difficult time."

The accident remains under investigation.

Another prayer service is planned for Tolson on Friday at St. John’s Jesuit.

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