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Crash charges depend on urine-test results



Published: Fri, June 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



YOUNGSTOWN -- A pending vehicular homicide charge could be upgraded once results of a urine test are in for Frank A. Bell, whose vehicle's collision with a motorcycle killed the driver, police said.

Oliver Danko, 67, of North Hartford Avenue, died late Wednesday night in St. Elizabeth Health Center. Danko, not wearing a helmet, suffered a head injury when his Honda motorcycle, after struck by Bell's car on Market Street, hit a street sign pole around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Detective Sgt. Ken Linden said Thursday that Bell, 24, of Willis Avenue could be charged with aggravated vehicular homicide if test results show he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Linden expects the results sometime next week.

No police chase

Lt. Robin Lees said the accident was not the result of a police pursuit.

Lees said Bell was traveling north on Market and members of the Street Crimes Unit, in an unmarked cruiser, were traveling south near West Florida Avenue when they spotted Bell, who was wanted on a felonious assault warrant.

By the time police turned around to follow Bell, he had already crashed with the motorcyclist near Hylda Avenue, Lees said.

Lees suggested that Bell likely saw the unmarked cruiser and, knowing he was wanted on the warrant, tried to flee. After the crash, Bell was caught after a foot pursuit.

Charges

Bell was charged with driving under the influence, driving under suspension and failure to yield while turning. Pending are charges related to the fatal crash.

A check of Bell's records at municipal court turned up a jail sentence he didn't serve from a 2003 DUS case. Bell failed to report to the jail in March 2004 to serve 45 days and a bench warrant was issued.

At arraignment Thursday in municipal court, Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. set Bell's bond at $258,000. Bell will be back in court June 8 for a pretrial on his misdemeanor charges, a preliminary hearing on his felony charges and a show-cause hearing related to the 2003 case.

Additional accidents

Elsewhere, in an unrelated crash, motorcyclist Ronald Ford, 51, of Southern Boulevard was in critical condition Thursday in St. Elizabeth's with a head injury. Linden said Ford, who has a suspended license, was struck by a car near Erie Street on Wednesday.

The driver, Joseph Crockett, 18, of Labelle Avenue, also has a suspended license, Linden said. Crockett, who pulled out in front of Ford, was not injured, Linden said.

Also, a pedestrian, Ken Toth, 51, of East Lucius Avenue, was in critical condition in St. Elizabeth's. Reports show Toth was hit while crossing Market near Hilton Avenue around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The driver, 81-year-old William Street of Market Street, was traveling south on Market when the accident occurred, reports show. The accident remains under investigation.

Thursday morning

A motorcyclist was critically injured in an accident at 7:30 a.m. Thursday on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Joe Hubert, 57, of Youngstown-Pittsburgh Road, New Middletown, was injured while traveling east in the right hand lane on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Reports show he put his motorcycle on its left side to avoid a collision with a concrete mixer making a wide right turn.

Police said the motorcycle continued sliding, struck the truck and caught fire.

The driver of the truck, Angel Gonzalez, 40, of Marmion Avenue, was issued a citation that charges failure to use safety before a lane change.




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