Sharon police say Mazda in multiple fatal 15 to 20 mph over limit

By Ed Runyan


The Sharon Police Department has concluded that the Mazda Tribute SUV Corey Swartz, 17, was driving Nov. 8 when it crossed the center line and hit a pickup truck on East Connelly Boulevard was traveling 55 to 60 mph.

That speed — which is 15 to 20 mph over the posted 40 mph limit — “supports the conclusion that the speed of the Mazda was a factor in the accident,” Sharon Police Chief Michael J. Menster said Friday in a news release.

The westbound Mazda hit the pickup “nearly head-on” at 10:05 p.m. just west of the Oakland Avenue viaduct, which is just east of downtown.

Swartz, of Sharon, and a back-seat passenger, Evan Gill, 17, of Sharon, were both pronounced dead at the scene. Swartz was wearing a seat belt. Gill was not.

Also killed was John Zdelar Jr., 50, of Brookfield, the driver of a Chevrolet Silverado coming in the opposite direction. He was wearing a seat belt, as were two passengers, Evan Wallace, 10, and Blake Yenderak, 12.

Both boys, who are from Brookfield, have been released from hospitals.

Dr. Brad McGonigle, Mercer County coroner, ruled the cause of death for Swartz, Gill and Zdelar to be accidental by blunt-force trauma.

Two brothers in Swartz’s Mazda, twins Craig and Gregg Osmon, both 17 and of Sharon, also were injured. Craig Osmon, a front-seat passenger not wearing a seat belt, has been released from the hospital.

Police have not determined whether Gregg Osmon, a back-seat passenger, was wearing a seat belt. He remains in St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown.

The four boys in Swartz’s car were Sharon High School football players who were planning to play in a playoff game the following day. The game was postponed to Monday.

As normal procedure, Dr. McGonigle has ordered toxicology tests on the three deceased, but police have found no indication that alcohol, drugs, texting or other cellphone use were involved in the accident, Menster said.

Results of the toxicology tests will be available in several weeks.

No criminal charges will be filed in the accident, and there were no adverse road conditions at the time of the crash, police said. The police department has concluded its investigation.

“The city of Sharon deeply regrets the tragic loss of life that occurred Nov. 8,” Menster said, adding that officials are grateful for the work of the Sharon and Brookfield fire departments, Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department, Hermitage Police Department, Mercer County Coroner’s Office, Sharon Street Department, Sharon School District and the many citizens who stopped to assist after the accident and during the investigation.

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