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Family IDs one Campbell crash victim; coroner’s delay angers some

Published: Mon, April 26, 2010 @ 12:18 a.m.




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.

Read the full story today on Vindy.com or in The Vindicator.


1Mike(13 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

As soon as the democrats you continue to vote in just because they have a "D" behind their name start spending/cutting wisely maybe a levy can get passed.

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2Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Why people getting on Dr. Kennedy's case. He came out last month about it. No one cared about it last month or when the announcement was made, but once something happens they complain about it. Amazing.

"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."

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3UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

The sales tax is in place and the coroner did not respond. Tax & Spend County officials like to thumb their noses at the citizens of Mahoning County. Well it's time for the citizens of Mahoning County to thumb their noses at the coroner by saying NO to the 1/2% sales tax. The overgenerously paid coroner and staff show us the way. NO to any sales tax levy until they understand they work for us -- the citizens of Mahoning County and we should determine their level of pay, healthcare, and pension benefits.

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4Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

If he does not want to do what his job requires for the salary he gets he should quit the job. Noone forced him to take a 59k a year job (Which isnt bad for this area). I always notice its the public service that gets laid off not the desk jockeys

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Elected serve at the pleasure of the people . When the people aren't pleased they then look for someone who will do what is required . This Campbell accident required the coroners attention . In the private sector white collar workers pitch in when times are tough . Can someone be found for the public sector who will really care ?

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6theword(342 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

These cuts have NOTHING to due with the 1/2 percent sales tax!!!!!

The county is still collecting it eventhough the VOTERS voted it down last November.

The income from BOTH 1/2 percent sales tax is coming in lower then years before, maybe because people don't have the money to spend!!!!

I'll be voting down the sales tax again this May

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7citizen1776(12 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

The coroner's position is a "salaried" job. This means that he is paid to perform a function irrespective of the hours involved. If he wishes to be a 9-5 hourly employee, then the commissioners should demand that he punch a time clock.

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8BTaylor(16 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

You get what you pay for and honestly we are not paying for much. If we would support our goverment and the sales tax then we wouldn't be in this position. Dr. Kennedy already released his statement, the informed, educated public knew about this, but now we are crying. What do you expect? This is a tragedy and my hearts go out to the families, but it was an accident and I'm sure when these children did not return home, or the one that survived told his story I'm sure the families were aware of the situation. I'm sure the grieving started this weekend, The corner will just confirm what these families already know. Now if Dr. Kennedy would have came out then there would be an outcry over overtime. Mahoning County Voters you can't have it both ways.. choose your poison.

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

BTaylor :

"You get what you pay for and honestly we are not paying for much."

With this fellow we are not getting much and paying a lot for what time he actually works . Lets do a time study on him and see what it costs us per each hour that he actually works . Dumping more money into a lost cause isn't the answer . Let's put someone in the job who is motivated .

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10BTaylor(16 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Okay I can agree with a time study, but do you honestly think that anyone else qualified for the job would consider the wage? You want someone motivated, well what motivates someone? I have no idea what Dr. Kennedy gets paid or even met the man, but I don't see the why everyone is so enraged, he told the public a month ago this was happening. I know this is a tragedy and I'm not debating the families are in grief but what is the coroner accomplishing in this? Identification is important, yes.. but they don't know thier children were involoved in an accident yet? Also there is the lone survivor, I'm sure his parents have contacted the other parents. What i would be interested in would be the cause of this accident? Was speed a factor, faulty mechanics carwise, illegal substances, drinking, or simply young drivers. I think that especially in this area, the corner's office is more than likely overwhelmed, understaffed and doing the best they can in the circumstances.

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11madashell(14 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

If the victims of this horrific accident were rich kids from Boardman, Poland or Canfield, there would not have been a discussion about the coroner not showing up. He would have been there in a heartbeat ! But they were just kids from Campbell, so who cares about them.

Yes the county is experiencing financial problems, but that is NO reason or excuse to allow the families of these victims to suffer any more than they already are.

All of you who are complaining about the 1/2 penny renewal spend more than that on your liquor and cigarettes each day. So when you die and your family wants an autopsy performed, make sure you don't die on the weekend.

As an employee of the county, I know I work very hard for my paycheck. We are very much in need of the 1/2 penny renewal to keep this county running as it should be. I applaud Commisioner Anthony Traficanti for speaking out regarding his intentions to do whatever it takes to correct this situation so that no other family has to endure what these 4 families have so far.


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1244509resident(46 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

This is such a sad story. But there are a few things that puzzle me. First off what were 17 yr olds doing out at 5am? Why were they going 80 to 90mph, was alcohol involved, were they being chased by someone who kept going once they crashed, or did they do something illegal and was trying to make a getaway?

Now everyone wants to point the finger at the Coroner, but he did make the budget cuts known prior to this. Now morally, if I was him i would of went to the scene just because of the nature of the situation. But his job is to do an autopsy. Families should know if their loved one was in the accident or not.

This story reminds me so much of the teenagers who were killed in Mill Creek Park some years back....

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13alsanchez(1 comment)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

i love you Ian soooo much u are one of my best friends from wayyy back bro it sad u had to leave us all so soon and i wish i could have made it to your fight last friday to help you train i no u wanted me there but i could not make it im sorry bro and one day i will see you in a better place along with the family we allll love you soo much R.I.P Ian Stores

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14BTaylor(16 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago


I can not agree with you on that statement. I don't think it would have mattered where an accident was.. I would imagine a coroner is involved in all deaths in the county, I'm not certain but isn't a coroner's duties to perfom an autopsy if needed and id? So we can all deduce that the cause of death here would be in relation to the car accident and again identification is important but I'm sure these children were shortly missed when not returning home, also I'm sure the police department would contact the families while id'ing the car, the id on the victims.
I don't think it's a fair or accurate statement to say the coroner's office would have been there if it was a different city. I would think as an employee of the county you would realize the hardship and stand behind your employer.
I agree the sales Tax must pass for the County to run efficiently.
I also applaud Commissioner Traficanti, but I would also think this situation should open the voters eyes as well.

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15jimc51(58 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

no way should the families have to wait all weekend to ID their children! Morally it would have been the right thing to do.
I would imagine speed was a factor..no way do you land nose first into a house that sits that far off the road..I have a teen driver and took him by the scene, this is something all parents fear when our children start driving..no matter how much we think our kids are careful and listen the fact is they don't..they think things like this will never happen to them..my prayers are with the families. and I hope the young man in the hospital recovers.

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1644509resident(46 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

This tragedy is a lesson learned and parents should take their children by the scene so that they can see first hand what happens when speed is involved.

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17Rokscout(310 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Right Madashell, you seem to be very educated and informed. I think that's exactly what the coroner stated: "We will not be responding unless it's a rich white person". IDIOT. How can that statement even be made, when the basis of this whole argument is that NOBODY knew who the kids were.
On a more important note, an above poster is exactly correct. There really was no need for the coroner to send someone to this scene. It's obvious to the on scene investigators, such as the police and paramedics, what the causes of death were.
Lastly, answer me this, anybody on here know how the coroner would have identified the bodies at the scene? He wouldn't have. If the police couldn't identify them at the scene, the coroner couldn't either. So prints, dna, dental etc... would have had to be used, both of which take much longer than you have learned in T.V. fantasy police world.

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18walter_sobchak(2634 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

This is tragic. Anyone with children dread this happening to them. I wouldn't wish this even on my enemy.

That being said, what were these kids doing out at this time of day. I'm sure they weren't going fishing. I would doubt that this is the first time they were out at this time of day. When I was that age, I had a curfew as do my children now.

As for the coroner, it is not necessary, under Ohio Revised Code, for his office to respond to this type of a situation. Law enforcement can ID the victims and notify the next-of-kin. Unfortuantely, the coroner put the county on notice that they would not repsond to traffic investigations. This is what happens when budgets get cut. Maybe the commissioners should have thought about this when doing the coroner's budget as, under Ohio Revised Code, the coroner's office is the highest office in county government. My question to the coroner, however, would be: At what point does a traffic crash become a crime scene where evidence must be collected and protected for possible use in a prosecution? I sure would not want everyday patrolmen or (yikes) sherrif's deputies calling the shots here.

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19tkytown(43 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

5 a.m. in the morning, speeding? What if they hit someone going to work that early in the morning or a family setting out for a day trip? These were not upright outstanding citizens.....as far as the coroner and the tax, the fairest tax is a sales tax, so for a half penny vote for it, it makes sense, everyone who spends money pays the tax, drug dealers, burglars, welfare recipients, they all pay! The coroner should not be taken to task for not responding, he can only do so much with a small budget

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20Cowboyfan(105 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Hold on everyone. We have a 1/2 cent tax in effect right now. We have no money. Renewing the tax isn't going to bring any city workers back. If we can't afford them now we won't be able to afford them later. All the signs say no new tax. Well that means no new money. Our county has high unemployment and until the jobs come back the money will not come back. I think this is a rotten way for the coroner to prove his point. If it was up to me I would fire him today. These kids deserved some compassion. It's not like we have deaths like this every day. Let's not assume we know what happened. Let's pray for the families.

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21jimc51(58 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

only one child was under 18 the other 3 were of legal age to be out. and i agree cowboyfan, lets just think of the family that loved them

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22rangeruss(2 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

I am sorely disappointed with some of the people who have left messages on this boad and how little they know about the coroners department. First it is a much needed service they make funeral arrangements, locate next of kin and really make life easier on families of people who are brutally murdered helping them find answers that "beat" officers would have a hard time answering. There are some really great people working for that department working for peanuts now they have no overtime and more people are going to get laid off if this continues. They were not working for much before and and honestly even with the sales tax passing they need to pay their deputy coroners more than ten bucks an hour.

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23TAXEDOFF(118 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

I think this just shows the arrogance of most government employees They are overpaid and have a sense of entitlement. Kennedy should get the boot shoved up his ASS.


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24BTaylor(16 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't agree that the coroner was making a point by not responding, I still don't honestly see that this warranted a visit from the coroner. Now I have compassion for these children and their families, it's a tragedy when a young life is cut short. I have no basis for this, but I can't bielieve the coroner's responds to every car accident where their are fatalities. It is obvious what happened, there were emergency personnel on the scene, I'm sure the families realized what happened. We don't need a scapegoat in this situation we just need to respect that young lives where lost and learn a lesson from this.

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25walter_sobchak(2634 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

If Dr. Kennedy's salary is $59K per year, he is far from overpaid for a position that has such stringent requirements, not to mention the responsibility of the job. That being said, I agree with taxedoff about government employees. We all know how these workers get their jobs and they do have a sense of entitlement. Personally, I believe that county government should be restructured under a charter form. This way elected positions could be eliminated and departments combined. Eliminate the commissioners offices and have an administrator. Eliminate the recorder, clerk of courts, auditor and treasurer's office and combine the staffs. Maybe we could get some efficiency in the county.

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26BTaylor(16 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Okay so I'm sure that we have all used county services, but why is it in this area, more specifically the people on this site like to slam county workers? Okay I agree some county workers may have that attitude, but I've come across some great county employees. So I pose this question to above posters? You don't think for example "some" GM workers are overpaid and have a sense of entitlement, or "some" teachers, or any profession in that case. I've even encountered that attitude from my bank teller.
You will encounter that attitude in any company across the county, you can't just say every gov't employee has that attitude and got thier job this way or that way.
Take a step back and look around. I don't think the coroner should have anything shoved anywhere personally.. I think we should remember to RESPECT one another.. we would get further ahead.

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27palbubba(794 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

How can people blame this on tea party members? This is clearly another "public servant" who could care less about the public they are to serve. This is another attempt to get the half percent tax passed through fear, as was the 100 deputy layoff. Wake up taxpayers.

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28ojanet22(134 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Palbubba, you are right on. We are being held hostage by the "public servants". Just another tactic to get the tax passed. And, no, I'm not a tea partier. I'm just tired of being manipulated by the powers that be. The half percent tax expires in October. Why are the cutting back now?
And paulb, you must never have lost a loved one. Your remark about the families of the victims "reaching into their own pockets" was insensitive to the extreme!

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29jpolisee(2 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

I once met the investigator that is being laid-off. He told me that he makes only $12.11 / hour and that he only gets overtime when he is physically out on a call. So how much are they really saving by cutting out one of the investigators and all of the overtime for the other 2 investigators?

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