Truck hits, kills girl, 9, in Salem; man arrested

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


Salem police have arrested a man believed to be responsible for a hit-and-run accident that killed a 9-year-old girl this weekend.

Todd R. Roberts, of East Main Street, Washingtonville, turned himself in to police just after 5 p.m. Saturday. He has been charged with felony failing to stop after an accident and is being held in the Columbiana County Jail.

According to police, Olivia Thompson was walking along East State Street on Friday night with another juvenile when she tried to cross the street at Lundy Avenue and was hit by a pickup truck. She was rushed to the hospital where she died early Saturday morning.

Her companion was not injured.

Salem Detective David Talbert said the driver of the pickup, believed to be Roberts, fled the scene of the accident, but was unable to avoid law enforcement for long. Police identified Roberts and within hours took possession of the 1998 Chevrolet S-10 he is believed to have been driving.

“We have located the man. We have the vehicle in question, and we have him in custody. The vehicle has been impounded and is being processed by the Bureau of Criminal Identification,” Talbert said.

Police are not willing to speculate on whether the pickup driver was impaired at the time of the accident, Talbert said, adding that more investigation is needed to make that determination.

“We have talked to him once, but I don’t want to comment on that because there are things that must be done to determine that,” he said.

A press release from the police department said further charges against Roberts will be reviewed by a Columbiana County grand jury this week.

The Summit County coroner will announce an exact cause of death at a later date.

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