Saturday, September 16, 2006

AMHERST CRASH KILLS GRAFTON WOMAN


Mr. Phillp Stern II, is seen in the red shirt being treated by LifeCare Ambulance at the scene of the fatal crash early Saturday morning.


Amherst Police Lt. Joseph Kucirek provided the following Press Release to the media in regards to the early morning crash at Copper Foster and Leavitt.

On Saturday, September 16, 2006, at approximately 0106hrs, Amherst Police observed a red in color Ford Ranger traveling northbound on North Main Street. While traveling behind the vehicle in question, the officer witnessed the suspect vehicle weaving from east to west within its lane of travel. While the officer continued to travel behind suspect vehicle, the driver began swerving to the west and crossed over the center double yellow line on three occasions. At one point the driver remained left of center for approximately 2 tenths of a mile before eventually swerving back to the east entering back into its proper lane of travel. The driver then continued swerving to the east and crossed over the white edge line.

A traffic stop was effected and the driver was identified as Mr. Phillip Stern II, age 33 of Lorain. Mr. Stern exhibited signs of being intoxicated and was uncooperative. After attempting to get Mr. Stern to exit the vehicle, he refused and fled from the scene while still in the vehicle.

A short pursuit ensued with Mr. Stern traveling eastbound on Cooper Foster Park Road and approaching a red traffic light at the intersection of Leavitt Road. A vehicle, driven by Shelia J. Pierce, 51 of Grafton, was southbound on Leavitt Road was struck by Mr. Stern’s Ford Ranger on its passenger side. As a result of the collision, Mrs. Pierce suffered fatal injuries.

Both vehicles sustained heavy damages. The Amherst Fire Department was contacted to extricate both drivers from their vehicles and there were no other occupants n either vehicle.

The incident remains under investigation and charges against Mr. Stern are pending.

To see all photos from this crash: CLICK HERE

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This fatal crash could have been stopped if the police would have stopped pursuit after taking the tag number and backed off this death would have not happened at all. with the high tech stuff they put in police cars now days they could have gotten him at his home or boxed him in somewhere safe. but i guess the police did not use their heads and all they where thinking about is getting that DUI collar under their belt and as a result a innocent woman/mother/and possible grandmother had to die! i`m not saying the dui supect was or wasn`t at fault. i`m just concerned about the lives that could be saved by taking the high tech stuff and start using it and cutting down on the amount of highspeed chase deaths. A VERY CONCERNED CITIZEN! P.S.I wonder how the policeman that were chasing the suspect feel about a death that they could have prevented! "Think about it."

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was at the scene of this accident last night. i looked into the eyes of the innocent woman who was already dead and i hurt so bad for her. i had never seen anything like it in real life. as it hit me, the fact is that a man who thought he was being a "man" decided to to drink and drive and now, someone has lost their mother, wife, and friend to such a preventable crime. that could have been me or you going to get pop or a late night drive. i think an alcoholic who cannot control his liquer should get the death penalty for what he did. a life in prison isn't enough punishment for taking away someones love one. i will never forget the look in her eyes. my heart goes out to her family.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it's easy to write something like the first anonymous said. Oh well............ just think, if Amherst PD had not pursued the suspect any further and he still killed someone, the first anonymous would be blasting them for not trying to stop him. Be A VERY CONCERNED CITIZEN, but while you are doing that, try to look at both sides of the issue and be more than a very concerned citizen. Be a responsible citizen. There is no right or wrong to this situation. Maybe you should read the description of the driver's actions before the traffic stop.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i`m not saying anything about the driver being at fault, the police could have looked at both sides and seen that if they chased this man he was not in his right mind and would not stop until something like this would happen. say it as you wish but stopping highspeed chases would save a lot of lives look at boston,mass. and you will see! NOW THINK AGAIN

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the word macho policemen mean anything here. That`s the way It`s looks.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The policemen that were chasing the suspect are not the ones who are responsible for that innocent ladies death. The man who choose to drink, drive, and run from the police is the person responsible. Let me ask you this anonymous 1, say the police did not pursue the male and he still ended up killing someone? who would you blame then? I am sure someone as uneducated as you would still blame the policemen. PS are you aware that this was not the first time that this male decided to drink and drive???

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6, this is anonymous 3. You summed it up well. It's a shame to hear people talk like that. I agree, a review should be done to ensure all policies and procedures were followed, and identify any way to have prevented it. However, at the end of the day. All he had to do was stop when the traffic stop was initiated. The police report vividly describes the clear and present danger he presented to himself and everyone else on the road. It's a shame it just had to come true. It's more of a shame that someone is out there questioning the issue when we all know that person would probably be questioning it the police would have stopped the chase. We can all Monday morning quarterback split second decisions that are made in life and death situations. But, until you are there doing it, you just don't know. How bad do you think that Amherst officer feels? Wishing that they could have done something different?

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that Amherst P.D. probably felt it was better to pursue this person then let him go off and hurt or kill someone. They most likey took into account that it was 1 in the morning, which is not a heavy traffic time. Unfortunately, someone was killed and that's very tragic. If this man was left to drive and he killed YOUR mom, grandma etc.. you would be the first one complaining that the police didn't do enough. These officers risk their lives everyday to make it a better place for us to live..give them some credit. I'm sure if your in need of help, you'll be calling for them and no matter what,they would help you. What high tech stuff do they have in their cars? Maybe the high tech stuff told them something about this person and that's why they chose to pursue.. please, dont be so judgemental.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too feel greatly for those that have lost their loved one to this moron, and he was definitely the one at fault…but how do you let a suspected drunk driver NOT get out of their vehicle and then let him drive off…you might as well have given him a loaded gun. The result was the same.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster that commented on how did they (Amherst Pd) let this guy NOT get out of the vehicle? This guy most likely had his car doors locked, window rolled up!!!The officer(s) could have tried breaking the window and the guy took off?? I'm sure it will come out in the news what exactly happened. Why do we always question the police officers?? Why was this offender driving while intoxicated? Was this his first offense?? I'm just amazed at how often the police officers are always being questioned, when all they were doing is trying to get a drunk driver off the streets. Doing what they were sworn to do. Although I'm sad that some innocent lady was killed.. I think we need to thank Amherst Pd Officer (s) that risked their lives trying to get this crimminal off the streets. Let's hope this drunk driver gets the maximum sentence and not some slap on the wrist or early release.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical... Blame someone else for the actions taken by YOU!!! I bet this is your philosophy in life. I knew Phil VERY well growing up, being one of his better friends, and spent a TON of time with him when I was younger. I feel horrible for him and his family. BUT I feel even worse for the family of Ms. Price. I do not try to blame the officer who chased him. He obviously needed to be extridided from the roadways as he posed a serious danger to not only himself, but anyone else who may have come in his path. I blame Phil... No one else. Not the Ford Motor Company for making the truck, not the liquor companies, not the bar in which he drank and most definetely not the officer.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read all of the comments about who did what and what should have been done. That lady who died was my nephews mother and had just left the hospital visiting her sister. That lady had one son and his name is Al and all anyone seems to think of is a drunk or a police doing his job. The bottom line is Al lost his mother and to him that is his only family you see Al is a only child.. And not only did he loose his mother he has lost his family! Do me and Al a favor leave the law and defenses up to the courts. Be human and showw compassion for the person who lost it all! That person is Al. Please say a prayer for the one that is left here to deal with this. By the way the lady that passed was Mrs. Pierce NOT Mrs Price!

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said.. Please tell Al that our thoughts and prayers are with him in this difficult time.

6:41 PM  
Blogger TMC NEWS said...

We apologize for the misprint in Mrs. Pierces name in our story, it has been corrected.

We too would like to extend our sympathy to Al and the rest of Mrs. Pierces family and to her friends.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Chris from Elyria said...

are you people idiots? this stern guy was a drunk driver, has a history of driving drunk and you people attack the police officer who was trying to get him off the road? how stupid can you people be? this stern guy should be hung from a flag pole in the town square. get off the cop and put your anger where it belongs, to the drunk driver who killed a woman because of his stupidity.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so sad that a family suffers a loss because of a drunk driver. Sheila Pierce was cheated out of probably a good 25 years of life. Probably even sadder is that she was doing a good deed...helping her ill sister. I believe laws need to be more agressive when people are stopped for drunk driving. Has this guy been charged yet?? That's what we need to focus on now....make sure he's not able to do this again.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous KAREN said...

WE ALL QUESTION WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENT. BUT THE FACT IS STERN WAS DRINKING AND DRIVING AND HE KILLED ONE OF MY DEAREST FRIENDS. WHEN IS HE GOING TO BE CHARGED WITH THE CRIME HE HAS DONE. HE KILLED A MOTHER, WIFE AND GRANDMOTHER. HE DESERVES THE MAXIMUM. THIS SHOULD HAUNT HIM FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. WHY SHOULD HE BE ABLE TO WALK AROUND FREE WITH A SLAP ON THE WRIST? IT IS NOT LIKE THIS WAS HIS FIRST TIME. IT ONLY TAKES ONE TIME AND ONE TIME IS TO MANY. WHILE HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS GRIEVE FOR HER EVERY DAY. WHAT DO YOU TELL HER GRANDSON WHEN SHE DOESNT COME HOME. THAT SOME IDIOT DECIDED TO BE CARELESS AND DRINK AND DRIVE AND TOOK HIS GRANDMOTHERS LIFE. NO ONE DESERVE TO DIE SUCH A HORRIBLE DEATH. SHE WAS A KIND HEARTED AND LOVING PERSON. SHE WAS ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP OUT ANYONE IN NEED. MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH HER FAMILY. SHEILA YOU WILL BE MISSED...LOVE YOU

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, Shelia was laid to rest. Her last wishes were honored. We were fortunate enough to be able to lay her to rest knowing that the man that did this to her was in jail. While that does not make anything any better, or bring her back to us, it gave us a little bit of peace knowing at least that much had gone our way. Shelia was loved very much & will be missed dearly. She was a thoughtful, caring woman who would give you anything she had if you needed it or help in anyway that she could. She was out on the road late that night because she had been with her sister who was taken to the emergency room. She left once her sister had been admitted to the hospital. She had been where she felt she needed to be. Unfortunately, there was a drunken man out on the road at the same time, driving, and not where he needed to be. He took her from us - no chance to say the things you never said, no chance to tell her you loved her one more time, no chance to hear her laughter - no chance for anything other than to grieve and try to wrap your mind around what happened, how it happened, and why - just plain why. We take peace in knowing that she did not suffer. We try & hold on to the little things that we can. We try & burn our last memories in to our brains, so we will never forget. The sad part is that it is clouded by one man's inability to use good judgement or to learn from his past. Followed by the memories of shrieks of woman, the cries of grown men, the questions from the children who don't understand why she can't wake up, the pain in every person's eyes and the reality that there will never be another visit, email, phone call, hug, smile...that she is gone forever. We hope that he is punished to the fullest extent of the law and that now that he's sober, that he understands what he has robbed us of. We pray for her soul, and we pray that justice is served. We pray that from our tragedy, other's are prevented, and that no one else has to go through this. We ask that you do the same...

10:07 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Sorry but this is dumb founding to me something someone wrote on here she had one son but anyone one that knows her and her family knows that she has two son's Al and Eric!!! I have known them for over 10 years and there has always been two son's NOT ONE!!!

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, those questioning the police in this sad event need to go and watch the police car video cams and see for themselves what happened.

This jackass was drunk, refused to get out of his truck and was hell bent on running away from the police. Your bleeding heart crap is a joke, Phil Stern should live his life being haunted by taking the life of Sheila Pierce.

The officers that went after him put their lives on the line to try and prevent such an terrible accident. And has been posted, if they would have just let him drive on his merry drunken way and then he would killed someone, you morons would have been screaming why didnt the police do their job?

From your perverted logic it does not matter what the police did or ever do, they are in a no win situation. Damned if they do and damned if they dont. Maybe the those who are sour on the police are the same people who have been pulled over for DUI's and are just upset that the police are doing what they get paid too. Or maybe they believe that laws and rules are meant to be followed. The police followed pursuit guidelines and that is obvious by the dashboard cam. Hell the pursuit lasted all of about a minute. I dont think it is highly unreasonable for a logical person to understand the police pursuing a dangerous drunk for at least a minute.

That is the bad thing about America in the 21st century, lets lay the blame somewhere else. Bottom line. Phil Stern took Shelia's life. God bless her soul and her family. I didnt know her, but as a person who came upon her car following the wreck, I will never forget the images of that night.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad that in a situation like this, someone who has no idea about police work would actually be questioning the police officers' actions. I am a police officer. Not an Amherst police officer, but one from a neighboring city, who knows exactly the situation faced by those officers, and the fact that they were forced to determine what the correct course of action would be with only a split second to decide. ANONYMOUS wrote "with all of the high tech things in their cars, why didnt they just get his tag?". Are you kidding me? Obvioulsy, you have NO idea about how the legal system works. Much of the evidence to convict him of drunk driving was in the car, and on his breath. It IS important to "get that DUI collar" when lives are at stake because of this individual's actions. This was a dangerous man, with a dangerous "Dukes of Hazzard" view of reality. It was imparitive that he be taken off of the streets, and that is exactly what those officers understood, and attempted to do. As police officers we often have a tough time dealing with the "if only i would have gotten there 2 minutes sooner" or "if only i would have terminated the persuit". We have a hard enough time dealing with the difficult side of our job, and for our valiant actions are often slandered by a half-true story in the newspapers. But even after we somehow get through the psychological nightmare of looking into a dead mother's eyes, or telling a 9 year old child that his daddy killed his mommy, we find ways of coming to work the next day, and attempting to do good for the public, time and time again. So for all of the ignorant people that talk about "macho cops" or somebody that inappropriately chased a drunk driver, please try to keep in mind that many people, whom are more educated and experienced than you have drawn up the policies that advise the officer on what action he is to take.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless the families and friends who have suffered loss and have felt pain by Sheila's death. We pray that these horrible accident photos are viewed by someone who needs to learn the most important lesson of NEVER drink and drive. I never knew Sheila, however I did know Phil. I will pray he has found God and is truly sorry for the pain he has caused by his lack of responsibility and most selfish action.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a tragic story with a tragic ending. You have a repeat drunk driver causing the death of an innocent woman. I am confident that he will be punished severly. In some people's eyes there is no punishment that can fit the crime.

The comment that started this exchange off is valid as well. Where Stern made many terrible decisions, I think the APD need to carefully evaluate the judgement to pursue Stern especially when they already identified him, where he was going, and who the owner of the vehicle was.... What I also find alarming was the fact that the officers new who the driver was upon initial approach of the vehicle. Was he targeted? Please don't believe what you read in police reports. Police need to make there DUI/OVI arrests and we will bend rules to do so. Thinking otherwise is nieve. They stalk out vehicles belonging to known offenders.
The flip side to this is that had they nailed him, a woman's life would be saved. Had they let him go not causing him to run, it probably would have been saved as well.
Lastly - drunk is a very broad politicized term. Anyone know how bad he was?

My sympathies to the victim's family and friemd for their loss. I hope that this situation is scrutinized officially not to lighten the drivers guilt but to prevent this from happening again.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its been 3 years mom and it still feels like yesterday. i love you and i miss you sooo very much. i really miss talking to you. love allen

9:18 PM  
Anonymous MY TOO SENSE said...

As a Californian who saw this story on a truTV show, I see this as a national problem. I too see why the first poster chose to be anonymous, he's an idiot and doesn't want to be identified. What a dumbass. The real issue here are drunk drivers, plain and simple. When you choose to drink then drive, you're saying what you want outweighs the safety and concerns of everyone else. When you choose to drink then drive after being caught, you're saying screw everyone else. Personally, I feel society is way too lenient on first time drunk drivers. I feel the first time drunk driver should be locked up for 5 years and loose their licence for 5 years. After completing that first sentence and getting convicted for a second offence, I feel they should get life because after spending 10 years in prison, you shouldn't be allowed out because by then, you're not fit on the streets. Prisons create whackjobs who can never reform, they don't stop being criminals in prison, they become worse. Just to survive in prison an inmate has to become an antisocial maniac, willing to kill at the drop of a hat. That small degree of humanity is lost, when the genuine criminal is incarcerated. Drunk drivers are criminals. Some people tend to forget that reality, they commit crimes. They destroy, injure, burn, hurt, break, kill, crash, wound, collide, sever and many other destructive things. Can't imagine a sweet little old grandmothers being a criminal? Or a doctor, pastor, or friend/family member? That's one of the problems about dealing with drunk driving, people lose sight of the fact that it is a crime and many innocent people are hurt and lose their lives.
Drunk driving statues should be so severe that any reasonable person would never consider driving after one drink. Period. Idiots will drive drunk no matter what is done, you can't legislate idiocy. At least we'll get them off the streets. The less idiots loose, the better.
That's my too sense.
re.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He received 6 years and will be released in a year.

2:56 PM  

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