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Judge locks up man accused in 3 accidents



Published: Fri, January 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The suspect says he has a seizure disorder that causes spells.

YOUNGSTOWN -- A 34-year-old Youngstown man accused of causing three accidents in the past two years when he had seizures while driving was jailed Thursday by Judge Jack Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Durkin revoked Ralph Pagan's bond and said Pagan will go to trial in the next 30 days on an aggravated vehicular assault charge from a 2003 accident.

Pagan, who doesn't remember the impact of any of the three accidents, said he suffers from a seizure disorder that causes spells.

His latest accident came Monday when he hit a car driven by Rachel Hanni of Youngstown, who sustained minor injuries. Police said Pagan was charged with hit and run, when he left the accident scene.

Pagan, of 3916 Ardell Blvd., was scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing on the aggravated vehicular assault charge in a 2003 accident, but an illness to his defense attorney, John Dixon, delayed the proceedings.

Two on same day

Pagan is accused of slamming his car into a van on West Boulevard driven by Dr. Joseph Cordova of Canfield on Feb. 22, 2003. The accident caused head injuries to both Cordova and his son, who incurred two skull fractures and bleeding in the brain, according to police reports.

That was the second of two accidents on that same day involving Pagan. Police said that minutes before striking Cordova's minivan, Pagan drove down West Boulevard at a high rate of speed and hit a car driven by 22-year-old Tricia Lynn Aliff, who was six weeks pregnant at the time, the report shows. Aliff, formerly of Boardman, lives in Michigan.

Aliff told police that she was stunned by Pagan's driving.

"I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed a ... car traveling extremely fast," Aliff told police. "It looked as if he was going to pass me, then he hit my car. I did not see the impact. It knocked me off the road, past several telephone poles and ran over several bushes. My car finally stopped when I hit a chain-link fence."

Pagan said he suffers occasional seizures, and the reason why he was driving in all three accidents was to buy or pick up his seizure medication.

"I felt bad because I didn't know what happened," Pagan said.

Pagan, whose license is suspended, said he isn't going to drive anymore.

"I ain't driving it," Pagan said Tuesday before he was jailed. "I ain't touching my car."




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