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Man, 18, gets probation in fatal Berlin Center crash

YOUNGSTOWN — Tyler Johns, 18, of Deerfield, who was 17 when he pulled in front of a motorcycle May 30 at U.S. Route 224 at Bedell Road in Berlin Center, causing a fatal collision with a Windham couple riding a motorcycle, has pleaded “true” in Mahoning County Juvenile Court to two counts of vehicular homicide.

Killed were Joseph Olson, 62, and his wife, Christie Olson, 60, who were traveling east on US Route 224, and Johns was traveling west on 224. Johns “failed to yield making the left turn (at Bedell Road), causing (the motorcycle) to overturn and strike” the juvenile’s truck, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol report.

Johns’ charges were first degree misdemeanors.

Judge Theresa Dellick recently placed Johns on probation and ordered him to participate in two programs — one to provide Johns with trauma informed counseling. The other is a victim impact program, which is an evidence based program carried out at the juvenile justice center that tries to put the youth “in the victim’s shoes” with a goal of having the youth become more empathetic to the victims, said Wes Skeels court administrator.

Johns was fined and ordered to pay costs and a probation fee, Skeels said.

Each conviction carries the possibility of detention for 90 days in in the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, but Dellick ordered the sentences held in abeyance pending completion of the courses and probation.The minimum amount of probation for Johns is 180 days, but the programs he is ordered to complete will last longer than that. He will have to complete both programs, Skeels said. It is not determined how long Johns will be on probation, Skeels said.

The daughter and son of the victims gave an impact statement during the hearing.

According to the state patrol, Johns was traveling west on 224 in a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado. He told investigators “he did not see the motorcycle coming towards him. (He) stated he stopped due to to traffic, and once the vehicles had passed him, that is when he started to make the turn and the crash occurred.” He recently turned 18.

Route 224 is 55 miles per hour in that area, and there is a “small curve in the road prior to Bedell Road approximately 457 feet east of the crash location,” the report states. “There is also a small curve in the roadway 369 feet after Bedell Road west of the crash location, and no view obstructions on the sides of the road,” the report states. The temperature was 85 degrees, and visibility was good.

Troopers secured surveillance video of the crash from the TNT Drive-thru on Bedell Road, the report states.

A witness told troopers she was traveling behind the pickup truck, which she said “started to make a left turn onto Bedell, then stopped. Then the truck started to go again, and it struck (the motorcycle) that was traveling in the opposite direction.” A highway patrol reconstructionist came to the scene to investigate.

Another witness, who was on Bedell Road, stopped at the intersection. She told troopers she saw the truck turn left onto Bedell and strike the motorcycle. The witness “stated it looked like the motorcycle started to slide prior to the truck making the left turn,” the report states.

The intersection is on the western edge of the county near Berlin Lake.

The Olsons were wearing helmets.

The obituary for the Olsons stated that Joe was born in Warren, and Christie was born in Washington, Pa. Both were Windham High School graduates. They have three children. Joe was superintendent of Hummel Construction in Ravenna, and Christie was retired as a house coordinator for Coleman Professional Services.

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