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COLUMBIANA COUNTY Salem man charged in damage to cemetery



Published: Tue, August 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man said he struck his head when the Jeep, went off the road, and he couldn't remember driving it through a cemetery.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LEETONIA -- A Salem man is to appear in Northwest Area Columbiana County Court in Salem on Monday on charges connected with damage done to a Salem Township cemetery.

Jeffrey Odey, 44, 750 W. State St., was charged Monday by township Constable Dan Valentine with failure to control and hit-skip. Odey is free on bond.

Valentine is accusing Odey of losing control of a Jeep Wrangler that Odey was test driving last Tuesday.

The vehicle entered the cemetery, along Salem-Grange Road near state Route 558, and struck several gravestones. One of them is on the grave of a Civil War soldier.

After crashing through the cemetery, Odey drove away and didn't immediately report what occurred, resulting in the hit-skip charge, Valentine said.

Failure to control is a minor misdemeanor bearing a maximum $100 fine. Hit-skip is a first-degree misdemeanor and has a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Reported crash Saturday: Valentine said Odey approached him Saturday and said he had been test-driving the Jeep, owned by a Salem man, when the accident occurred.

Odey said he struck his head on a roll bar when the Jeep went off the road, and he couldn't remember hitting tombstones. After the wreck, he returned the Jeep to its owner, who didn't immediately see the damage caused to the Jeep's front and undercarriage, Valentine said.

It could cost as much as $5,000 to repair the damage done to the cemetery, Valentine said. He didn't give an estimate on damage to the Jeep.




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