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Charges filed in fatal crash

Published: Mon, October 12, 2009 @ 2:30 p.m.

COLUMBIANA — The Ohio State Highway Patrol today announced that Ashley Ratkowski, 23, of Youngstown, has been charged with two first-degree counts of vehicular homicide in the Sept. 8 crash that claimed the lives of two people.

Lewis Morris, 80, and his wife, Elizabeth, 77, both of Leetonia, were pronounced dead at the scene by the Mahoning County coroner’s office.

According to police, Ratkowski, 23, was driving a Dodge Caliber north on state Route 46, and Thomas Johnson, 49, of Warren was driving a tractor tailer in the same direction about 3:55 p.m.

Lewis and Elizabeth Morris were in a 2000 Ford pickup truck southbound on Route 46. William Naughton, 61, of Columbiana also was traveling south in a 2000 Dodge Intrepid south along the same road.

Reports say Ratkowski traveled left of center and struck the truck driven by Lewis Morris, causing the truck to go left of center and strike the tractor trailor driven by Johnson.


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Driver inattention for whatever reason is the cause of far too many accidents . OHP did a fine job investigating this accident .

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2rocky14(839 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

Was she drinking? How else could it have been a homicide?

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3thepromoter(1 comment)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

i bet she was messing with her cell phone texting..you see that alot these days with people who should be paying attention to the road

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4blondie(1 comment)posted 6 years, 9 months ago

The news stated that texting, drinking or speed were not a factor in the accident! Who knows what really happened but it was truly an accident. This will unfortunately be with her the rest of her life. My prayers are with both the family of the victims and Ashley. She is a very sweet girl.

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5pineapple1(14 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Truly an accident??? are you kidding??..if you are not drinking, or talking or texting on the cell phone, how does your car go left of center all by itself?...driving is a privilege, not a right and you are supposed to pay attention and stay in your lane..this girl killed 2 people due to her negligence and i feel the pain of their families. if she walks away from this with a slap on her hand i will feel quite differently about our justice system..and she has the nerve to go on about her life and plan a wedding and get married. you would think she would be so wracked with guilt that she would put everything on hold til the trial is over...2 people are dead and she just goes on with her unremorsful life...i hope she gets into an "accident" just like this one!

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