HOWLAND Cruiser crash case to go to grand jury
The police officer's speeding was a contributing factor to the crash, the OSHP says.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HOWLAND -- A Trumbull County grand jury will decide whether a part-time township officer should be indicted in connection with a fatal car crash.
According to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol on the Nov. 10 crash involving Patrol Officer Timothy Albu, Ken Bailey, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, told the patrol that after the report was done he would review it and the case "would be presented directly to the grand jury in regards to charges" against Albu.
Delbert Lambert, one of the passengers in the car struck by Albu's cruiser, died Thursday.
The report, which was released to the public this morning, states that Albu's speeding was a contributing factor in the crash. The exact speed Albu was driving has not been determined. The report says that a crash reconstruction would be done in Columbus to determine an estimated speed.
Albu told the patrol he thought he was driving 50 miles per hour. The speed limit on Ridge Road where the crash occurred is 25 mph, an OSHP spokeswoman says.
Police Chief Steve Lamantia said Albu has been off work since the crash.
"Once we know the speed we will then begin our own internal investigation to determine if any administrative action should be taken," Lamantia said.
Went left of center: The report said that Albu was headed south on Ridge Road around 8:09 p.m. Nov. 10 when his cruiser went left of center and struck a vehicle driven by Chad W. Mitchell, 23, of Niles.
Mitchell and one passenger, Cammie R. Kosak, 19, of Niles, were treated at St. Joseph Health Center in Warren.
Lambert, the other passenger, was taken to Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, then to Akron City Hospital. He died around 4:20 a.m. Thursday. An autopsy was performed by the Summit County Coroner's office and the results are still pending, Summit County officials said.
Albu was not hurt.