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GUARDRAIL CRASH CASE Cops suspect car that hit woman was a Ford



Published: Wed, January 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police have asked anyone with information about the crash to call (330) 742-8946.

YOUNGSTOWN -- A newer model red-and-white Ford F-150 truck may have been the vehicle that struck a 31-year-old Struthers woman who stopped to assist a driver on Interstate 680, police said.

Kim L. Travis of Crescent Street was in critical condition Tuesday at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Her injuries include a fractured leg and concussion, police said.

The crash happened around 6:20 p.m. Monday on I-680 at the South Avenue exit ramp.

Detective Sgt. Ken Linden, an accident investigator, said a witness saw a truck that may have been involved but wasn't positive about the color. Linden asked that anyone who may have information about the hit and run call (330) 742-8946.

Lt. Mark Milstead, head of the accident investigation division, said he heard from another witness Tuesday who said the truck is a white pickup, possibly an F-150, and perhaps with a full-size extended cab. He said the truck may have a broken rear-view mirror and driver's side damage.

Guardrail crash

The crash sequence began when Thomas O. Weaver, 68, of Pinecrest Road, Girard, changed lanes to exit onto South Avenue. While entering the exit ramp, his 1996 Dodge Intrepid struck snow on the shoulder, police said.

Weaver's car spun out of control and struck the guardrail on the passenger side. The car was positioned across a portion of the ramp, which left its driver's side facing oncoming traffic.

Travis, wanting to offer assistance, pulled her 1993 Buick LeSabre behind Weaver and then walked to his car to loan him her cell phone, Linden said. Her car was not struck.

Milstead said investigators believe the pickup driver lost control as it left the freeway and entered the South Avenue exit ramp.

Travis was hit as she stood near Weaver's driver's door and the impact propelled her through the window and into his lap as he was using the cell phone, Linden said. He said the injured woman voiced concern about her child, who had to be picked up at a baby sitter.

Milstead said he will assign more officers to I-680. Police will issue tickets, not warnings, to speeders, he said.

He said some motorists are driving too fast for snowy road conditions.




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