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YOUNGSTOWN Telltale drip of car fluid leads to arrest of driver



Published: Sat, March 8, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The resident heard a loud crash and felt his house shake just before 2 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Patrolman Rob Deichman followed a car's "fluid trail" from where the car crashed into a house on Winchester Avenue early today to Austintown, where he arrested the driver.

Deichman arrested Krystal L. Donofrio, 23, of North Four Mile Run Road, on charges of driving under suspension and failure to stop after an accident.

The resident of the house on Winchester told police that he was awakened by the sound of a loud crash and felt his house shake just before 2 a.m.

Deichman's investigation showed that a car, traveling west on Connecticut Avenue, went off the road at Connecticut and Winchester, ran over a stop sign and slid across the yard into the house. He found debris from the car throughout the front yard and on the side of the house.

The officer followed the trail of fluid draining from the car leading away from the house. He went south on Winchester, west on Mahoning, past Meridian and into Austintown.

What led to arrest

The trail then led north on Lexington, west on Oakwood to North Edgehill then turned south onto North Edgehill, across Mahoning and, finally, to the car parked in front of 143 S. Edgehill Ave.

The resident, a friend of Donofrio's, said Donofrio hit the house, drove to Edgehill, parked the wrecked car, then left on foot.

Deichman, who found no footprints in the new snow, didn't buy the story. When pressed, the friend acknowledged that Donofrio was in the basement.

At first, Donofrio told Deichman that she hadn't been driving, her boyfriend had. Then she said her boyfriend had been chasing her and tapped the rear of her car, which caused her to lose control and crash, reports show.

Her 1992 Chevrolet Beretta, with heavy front end and rear end damage, was towed and held for the accident investigation unit.




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