No charges filed in double fatality in February I-680 accident


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

City prosecutors have decided not to file charges in a February traffic accident on Interstate 680 that killed two people who were outside of their cars.

The decision comes after an investigation by the police department’s Accident Investigation Unit into the deaths of Javier Colon, 19, of Youngstown and Rebecca Guntle, 39, who police said was from out of state, in a Feb. 3 accident on Interstate 680 south.

The two had left their vehicles when they were struck by another vehicle and killed.

Patrolman Morris Lee, lead investigator, said Colon and Guntle were involved in an accident and their vehicles were up against the concrete barrier on the interstate.

The pair had walked to get off the freeway and were in the grass on the side of the freeway when they were struck, Lee said.

Lee said they were hit by a driver who was trying to avoid the cars of Colon and Guntle when he went onto the grass and struck the pair, kllling both of them.

The results of the investigation were given to city Prosecutor Dana Lantz, who said Monday she decided charges would not be filed.

Lantz did not elaborate and a follow-up message asking for an explanation was not returned.

There has been one other death on Interstate 680 so far this year, and that person was also not in a vehicle. An Ohio Department of Transportation worker who was part of a brush clearing crew was struck March 15 by an SUV and killed. That case is still being investigated.

On Feb. 23, a woman drove the wrong way on state Route 711 and collided with a tractor-trailer, killing her brother and two of her children. That crash is still under investigation.

The city has had six traffic deaths in 2018.

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