Patrol levels vehicular manslaughter charge in late 2015 crash


By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com



File photo

State troopers and Wellington firefighters examine the wreckage after two vehicles collided head-on this October on Rt. 58 in Pittsfield Township. Lula Clark, 81, of Wellington, was killed in the crash.


An Elyria man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter five months after a head-on crash that killed 81-year-old Lula Clark of Wellington.

Ronald Podlich, 40, also faces a count of driving left of center.

If found guilty, Podlich could serve up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. He will be arraigned Wednesday in Oberlin Municipal Court.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which brought the charges after a lengthy investigation, Podlich was heading north on Rt. 58 around 4:16 p.m. on Oct. 22 when he drifted over the center line near Merriam Road in Pittsfield Township.

His 2006 Ford Explorer struck Clark’s 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Clark was dead by the time rescue crews arrived, said Wellington fire chief Mike Wetherbee.

Podlich was flown by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland with non-life-threatening injuries.

The fatal crash case was one of three in which the OSHP moved to press charges over the weekend. Others included:

• Timothy Edwards, 35, of Lorain, was charged with reckless operation, driving under suspension, OVI, and two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide in the Vermilion Municipal Court. Troopers said Gary Carte and Catherine Peterson, both 54 and of Vermilion, were killed in a Dec. 3 crash on Rt. 6 when Edwards smashed into their vehicle.

• Raymond Belt, 41, of Lafayette, Ohio, was charged with failure to stop for a red light and vehicular manslaughter in the Elyria Municipal Court. Troopers said he was behind the wheel of a tractor trailer Dec. 9 on Rt. 83 in Grafton Township and hit 93-year-old Laura Wright of Grafton. She died as a result of her injuries.

File photo

State troopers and Wellington firefighters examine the wreckage after two vehicles collided head-on this October on Rt. 58 in Pittsfield Township. Lula Clark, 81, of Wellington, was killed in the crash.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/03/web1_DeadlyCrash3.jpg

File photo

State troopers and Wellington firefighters examine the wreckage after two vehicles collided head-on this October on Rt. 58 in Pittsfield Township. Lula Clark, 81, of Wellington, was killed in the crash.

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@civitasmedia.com