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WARREN Officer pleads innocent in accident



Published: Fri, February 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Albu has not worked for the department since the accident.

WARREN -- The lawyer for a part-time Howland Township police officer involved in a fatal crash says he doesn't know that his client needs a defense.

Timothy Albu pleaded innocent this morning to charges of aggravated vehicular assault and vehicular homicide.

He is free on $5,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The case is assigned to Judge Peter J. Kontos in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

A grand jury secretly indicted Albu last week.

"He did what his job required him to do," defense attorney Brian Kopp said after the arraignment.

Albu was southbound on Ridge Road in response to a nonemergency call shortly after 8 p.m. Nov. 10 when his police car crossed the center line and struck a car driven by Chad W. Mitchell, 23, of Niles, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol report.

Mitchell and one passenger, Cammie R. Kosak, 19, of Niles, were treated at St. Joseph Health Center in Warren.

The other passenger, Delbert Lambert, 47, of Niles, died from injuries.

Speed an issue: According to the report, Albu's speed was a factor in the accident.

The exact speed had not been determined, but Albu told the patrol he thought he was going 50 mph.

The speed limit on the section of Ridge Road where the crash occurred is 25 mph.

Albu was not hurt.

He has been on administrative suspension, without pay, since the accident, said Steve Lamantia, Howland police chief.




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