Man charged in fatal 2009 accident goes on trial

Man charged in fatal 2009 accident goes on trial

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


The trial for a man charged in the traffic death of a domestic-violence advocate is slated to begin today in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Eric Brady, 26, of East Avondale Avenue, is charged with failure to stop after an accident and aggravated vehicular homicide in the 2009 death of social worker Kim Sullivan.

The trial will be before Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. Jury selection is set to get underway today with opening statements to follow shortly thereafter.

Brady is being represented by Atty. Mark Lavelle.

Sullivan, 42, of Austintown, died Jan. 18, 2009, after an accident that took place around 7 a.m. in the 100 block of South Meridian Road, said Youngstown police accident investigators.

Sullivan, a well-liked judicial advocate for Sojourner House, a domestic- violence program, was traveling in one direction on the road when the car driven by Brady reportedly crossed the median and hit Sullivan’s car.

Investigators, through a series of witness statements, have pieced together what took place just before and immediately after the fatal accident.

One witness told police Brady left a Paisley Avenue home shortly after 6 a.m. to take a woman to work at an area fast-food restaurant. The accident took place after he dropped the woman off and was returning to the house.

Another witness told police he heard a loud crash, looked outside and saw the two vehicles a short distance away. He said he also saw Brady, who appeared to be dazed, briefly speak to someone in a pickup truck then walk away from the accident.

The witness in the pickup truck reportedly told police Brady told him he thought there was a woman injured in the accident but he “had to run” before leaving the scene of the accident. Police later found Brady hiding in the snow behind a nearby business.

Sullivan had been with the agency for 15 years and had served in a variety of capacities. The last four years before her death she served as a judicial advocate for victims of domestic violence.

Coworkers said Sullivan was well-known by law enforcement and the courts and did a lot of public speaking. She also spent time working with adolescents on the weekends.

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