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Man charged in fatal University Heights hit-skip involving construction workers makes first court appearance

Posted at 9:22 AM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-28 09:22:30-04

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — A man exonerated for a 1975 murder, who was charged in May for a fatal hit-skip in University Heights involving construction workers, made his first court appearance on Tuesday morning.

Wiley Bridgeman, 64, of Richfield, appeared in court on four charges: aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and failure to stop after an accident, according to court documents.

A judge issued a $100,000 bond and scheduled his next court date for June 4.

His charges stem from a March 28 incident near the University Heights-South Euclid border. Authorities say two workers were painting lines on Cedar Road near South Green Road when a vehicle heading east went across the center lines and struck them.

Bridgeman, the driver, fled the scene but later crashed into a telephone pole, officials said.

David W. Sollars, 54, of Rocky River, died as a result of the crash. Initially, Bridgeman was only charged with vehicular assault, but following Sollars' death more charges were handed down. Sollars is identified as the victim of the vehicular homicide in a court document.

Bridgeman spent 37 years behind bars before he was exonerated in 2014 for a 1975 murder.