OSHP: Warren firefighter who died in crash had no valid license

Staff report


Marc Titus, the Warren firefighter who died in a June motorcycle accident, was not impaired but was driving under a suspended license when his bike struck a tractor-trailer, state highway patrol officials said.

Titus, 46, of Cortland, died June 8 after his motorcycle struck the semi in the northbound lane of state Route 11, after the truck had struck the King-Graves Road overpass in Fowler Township and overturned. Titus was ejected from his bike. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lt. Brian Holt, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said Titus’ blood-alcohol content was 0.05 at the time of the crash; the legal limit in Ohio is 0.08. Titus’ license, however, had been suspended in December 2011 after he was arrested in Cortland for failure to control and driving under the influence, according to his driving records from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The suspension would have been in place through November 2013.

Judge Thomas Campbell, of the Trumbull County Central Court in Cortland, said he had granted Titus occupational driving privileges but denied a request for nonoccupational privileges.

Holt said that the case of the accident was turned over to the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s office, so he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the incident, Titus’ suspensions or whether charges would be filed against the driver of the tractor-trailer, James Black Jr., 49, of Sharon, Pa.

“We have submitted all of that to the prosecutor for review,” he said. “It may take some time.”

Previously, Titus had his license suspended four other times from 2001 to 2007 for operating a vehicle while impaired.

In 2001, he was given two separate license suspensions on the same case — an administrative suspension from May to August 2001 and a court-ordered suspension from May to November 2001.

In his 2007 case, he also was given an administrative suspension from June 2007 to January 2008 and a court-ordered suspension from June to December 2007.

Lindsey Bohrer, media-relations contact with the Ohio BMV, said an administrative suspension is given when a driver is arrested for OVI. The length of the suspension depends on prior offenses and suspensions.

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