Pickup truck driver remains jailed
Mahoney could be released by late next year

Sunday, May 10, 1998

BY JANE PRENDERGAST
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LA GRANGE -- The man who drove drunk a dozen miles in the wrong direction 10 years ago remains behind bars, still paying for causing the nation's worst drunken-driving tragedy.

Sign
This sign marks the site on I-71 where a fiery bus crash claimed 27 lives.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |

CARROLLTON
10 years later
10 years ago, 27 people died

School busses are safer

Infographic: Collision course

Larry Mahoney will stay in the Kentucky State Reformatory until late next year. His release date as of now is Dec. 23, but that could be moved as much as a couple of months earlier as he continues to earn good time.

A year ago, Larry Mahoney passed up his first chance to seek parole. A noble thing, some people said, or maybe he just knew he wouldn't get out anyway. The parole board could have let him apply for parole again, but members decided to force him to serve out his time.

Mr. Mahoney, now 44, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter, assault and wanton endangerment. It was a decade ago Thursdaywhen Mr. Mahoney drove drunk and the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton. His pickup truck crashed head-on into a church bus, killing 24 children and three adults on board.

The bus was returning to Radcliff First Assembly of God Church from the Kings Island amusement park when the wreck happened. Forty people survived.

Mr. Mahoney, 44, has passed up jailhouse interviews. Dozens of local and national outlets have asked, said Mike Bradley, spokesman for the Department of Corrections.

Mr. Mahoney works in the medium-security facility as a janitor. He has had no major or minor infractions since he got to the prison, has earned his GED high school equivalency diploma and participates in some Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs, said Kenneth Vaughn, prison public information officer.

State law allows prisoners to be credited three months' "good time" for every year behind bars. More credit can be earned for good behavior and educational improvement. Mr. Mahoney has earned all three kinds, Mr. Vaughn said.



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