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Family IDs crash victim



Published: Mon, April 26, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Denise Dick

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This is John Mrakusic’s bedroom as it appeared Saturday after a car ran into his brick ranch house at 525 Cynthia Drive in Campbell. Three of the car’s occupants died in the 5 a.m. crash.

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A wreath and an angel statue comprise a makeshift memorial where a car slammed into a Campbell home early Saturday, killing three of the car’s four occupants. None of the identities has been released, but family members say one of the dead is Ian Stores, 17, of Campbell.

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Ian Stores

Probe awaits on 3 dead, 1 injured

By DENISE DICK

denise_dick@vindy.com

campbell

A memorial wreath and a small angel statue mark the place where a car crashed into a house over the weekend killing three of the car’s four occupants.

Police haven’t released any of the victims’ names, but family members have identified one of the dead as Ian Stores, 17, of Campbell.

Victim identification is slowed by cutbacks at the Mahoning County Coroner’s office.

Detective Sgt. John Rusnak said the Mahoning County Coroner’s office didn’t respond to the scene and won’t open until today.

“It’s terrible,” Rusnak said. “You’ve got four families suffering and wondering whether their kids are alive or dead.”

Police used photo identifications to make tentative identifications of the victims, but those can’t be confirmed until the coroner’s office reopens, the detective said.

Anthony Traficanti, Mahoning County commissioner, told Vindicator news partner, WFMJ TV 21, that Coroner Dr. David Kennedy should have responded himself.

“It’s unacceptable,” Traficanti said.

He said he would call for a meeting this week to discuss the issue among commissioners, Dr. Kennedy and Paul Gains, Mahoning County prosecutor.

Dr. Kennedy told the TV station that the problem stems from budget cuts and that he cannot be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

A woman at the scene at 525 Cynthia Drive Sunday afternoon said she knew only the driver of the car. She didn’t want to provide her name but said that her boyfriend, who knew the driver from the time both were children, placed the angel there.

A fourth occupant of the car, a 17-year-old Campbell boy, was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center where he remained in critical condition Sunday night.

Lillian Stores of Campbell is the grandmother of one of the people who died, Ian Stores. That identification wasn’t confirmed by police, however.

“I cried all day yesterday,” Lillian Stores said.

She said her grandson was a good boy who attended Boardman High School and worked two part-time jobs.

“He came to see me every day,” Lillian Stores said.

She last saw her grandson Friday night when he and a friend stopped at her house to get something to eat.

“When he was leaving, I told him, ‘You be careful and take care of yourself,’” she said. “He said, ‘I will. I’ll see you tomorrow.’”

Ian lived with her son, Dale Stores, who was the boy’s uncle.

Dale Stores said he last saw his nephew Friday night after the two played basketball at Lillian Stores’ home with two others.

They rode back to Dale Stores’ home and Ian and a friend left for a walk.

“That’s the last I saw him,” Dale Stores said.

When he didn’t hear from Ian later that night, he knew something was wrong.

“He always called me to say where he was at and when he would be home,” he said. “When I heard about the accident, I knew he must be dead.”

His nephew was a nice young man who recently had started boxing, he said.

Police said Saturday that two of the dead are from Campbell, and one is from Youngstown. Dead are a 21-year-old woman, a 17-year-old boy and an 18- or 19-year-old man, police have said.

The car was likely traveling at speeds of 80 mph to 90 mph at the time of impact, according to police.

Police on Sunday said there was no new information on the accident.

The homeowner, Jon Mrakusic, woke to a loud bang Saturday morning.

“I thought a tree fell,” he said. “My girlfriend said, ‘What was that?’ I said a tree fell and she said, ‘No there’s a car.’”

The impact pushed the corner of the house off its foundation, broke all of the windows on that side of the house and pushed Mrakusic’s bedroom furniture about a foot.

“I really feel bad for them,” he said of those killed and their loved ones. “I empathize with all of them.”

The accident knocked out Mrakusic’s electricity and water service and rendered his bathroom inoperable. But Mrakusic and friends are staying at the home, relying on flashlights.

He credits his belief in a higher power with keeping he and his family safe.

Mrakusic expects a construction company to come to the house today to inform him about the extent of damage and required repairs.

Mahoning County Coroner Dr. David M. Kennedy announced earlier this month that because of budget cuts, his office would no longer respond to death scenes. He also laid off one of his three investigators.

Dr. Kennedy has said a body-removal service would go to death scenes and that his office’s investigation would begin the next business day.


Comments

1tonyb2913(20 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

rest in peace to lala and ian and may god help quan pull through

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2majick(33 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

So then...a "body removal service" comes to the scene, messes up any evidence there would be for forensics, takes the bodies away, and families suffer over the weekend.
Coroner says he "can't be available 24 hours a day". Well, three young people were killed, he could have--out of the goodness of his heart--made an effort to get these bodies identified and help the families who were wondering for about 48 hours! Shame.

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3redvert(2007 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

You have to ask, is this the caliber of individual that you want for your coroner?
What would he expect if a family member of his possibly died in Trumbull County? Would "the next business day" be acceptable in that case? Perhaps he needs to be job hunting!!!

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4tonyb2913(20 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

THIS HURTS SO BAD FOR ANYONE WITH A CHILD THAT U CARE ABOUTLEAVE THE RACE OUT OF IT BEFORE THET HAPPENES

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5thecol75(8 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

tonyb, I totally agree with you. I also agree that it was sh*tty how the coroner's office dealt with this. It flows along the same lines as he's unavailable to ID accident victims as it was when the YFD was unavailable to answer fire alarms years ago when THEIR tax hike wasn't approved. Any we wonder why Youngstown's going to sh*t. I feel terrible for the families of these kids who've died. And I wish Kennedy exercised the same sense of loss that I do....as a stranger.....but he could've provided a more immediate closure had he not been so greedy. Unreal!

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6myangel82(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

This is so very sad and such a shame and what these parent have had to go through I know all to well. My heart goes out to all the family and friends.
This was totally uncalled for he should have allowed those parent to identify their children right away.
Got a law passed in Ohio to put 2 emergency contacts w/ our drivers license so things like this wont happen you can sign up on line this way police can find family quickly. Please sign up asap you can do it off this website click on sign up now.
www.money-burge.com

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7esssie(4 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I am a mother of a young man lost in a MVA which exploded at 5:30a on Thanksgiving morning 2yrs ago and I too had to wait to see my son when he arrived at the funeral home,I had to sign release papers for the viewing in case of heart attack or anything. It was too long for me even though I knew it was my child. It is unfortunate for the families that the system is in such a state. Out of human compasssion all that could have been done to expedite the viewing should have been done! My deepest sympathies to all families involved.

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