Teen fleeing cops crashes car; Youngstown boy, 9, killed

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A teenage boy driving a stolen car and running from police is responsible for the Thursday night accident that killed a 9-year-old city boy.

The 16-year-old suspect is at the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center on Scott Street, but police are not releasing his name until they confer with prosecutors about what charges he will face.

According to Officer Brian Booksing, the 9-year-old was riding in a Ford Explorer on West Boston Avenue on the city’s South Side with his 27-year-old mother, Tammy Sadler of Youngstown, at 11:21 p.m. when a Ford Taurus driven by the teen went through a stop sign at Hudson Avenue and hit the truck.

Sadler and an 11-year-old girl, Tabrasia Gray, were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center after the accident. Sadler’s son was ejected from the truck and killed in the accident, but police are not releasing his name until the family has been properly notified.

The unidentified teen suspect also was taken to St. Elizabeth after the accident, but he was treated and released to police custody.

Lt. Brian Butler of the police department’s internal-affairs division said the teen was driving a stolen car and trying to elude police when the accident took place. Internal affairs is investigating.

“We are in the very preliminary stages of the investigation. It was a stolen vehicle, and the chase was very brief,” he said.

Booksing said the car had been reported stolen Wednesday from the 3200 block of Market Street.

Mayor Jay Williams said he was told by police Chief Jimmy Hughes that an officer spotted a stolen car Thursday. Before the officer could get into position to pursue the vehicle, however, it turned and sped away. The officer followed and came upon the accident.

“It wasn’t even a pursuit,” the mayor said. “It was less than a minute.”

Efforts to reach Police Chief Jimmy Hughes for more details were unsuccessful Friday night.

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