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YOUNGSTOWN 2 die in Market Street crash; police cite speed and alcohol



Published: Thu, January 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The city recorded 10 traffic fatalities last year.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A lethal mix of alcohol and speed led to a pre-dawn crash today on Market Street, leaving two young women dead.

Details were sketchy early today about where the victims had been and where they were headed. Their identities were withheld pending notification of family. The crash happened just before 2:30 a.m.

Detective Sgt. Dave Lomax, an accident investigator, said the victims -- one a 20-year-old Salem woman -- had been passengers in a Chevrolet Corsica. The driver, another young woman, was in guarded condition this morning at St. Elizabeth Health Center with a leg injury.

What happened: Lomax said the Corsica had been southbound on Market Street, either alongside or in front of a Honda, when it entered a curve in the road near Breaden Street at high speed. The Corsica went off the right side of the road and struck a utility pole with such force that the car spun 180 degrees and landed back in the path of the Honda, he said.

The Honda then slammed head-on into the Corsica.

Lomax said any criminal charges would be determined after the investigation is complete.

Lomax wasn't sure if seat belts were in use but said it wouldn't have mattered for the women who died because of the angle and force of the impact. Both speed and alcohol contributed to the crash, he said.

"It was just too much speed for the curve," said Detective Sgt. Rick Hart, another accident investigator. The investigation now under way should be able to estimate the speed, he said.

Last year, the city recorded 10 traffic fatalities, Hart said.

Both Hart and Lomax were called at home to respond to the accident scene. They said the Corsica was destroyed, its front end gone.

Those inside the Honda, in which the air bags deployed, were not injured, Lomax said.

DUI citation: The Honda driver, Scott A. Ensign, 23, of West Boulevard, Boardman, was cited on a DUI charge. Patrolmen Chris Bonacci and Jerry Fulmer noted on the citation that the pavement was dry, no adverse weather was a factor and traffic was light in the business section of Market Street where the crash took place.

Lomax said that the occupants of the Corsica and those in the Honda didn't know each other but that some type of conversation took place between them. He said more details would emerge today once the driver of the Corsica is able to relate what happened.

meade@vindy.com




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