Thursday, March 19, 2009


Amherst – Police, Firefighters and Paramedics were kept busy St. Patrick’s Day with 3 car crashes that sent 3 people to Cleveland by helicopters.

4:29 p.m. – 800 Block of North Main Street
John Bookmyer
, age 35, of Lorain was southbound on N. Main St. when his 1997 Suzuki motorcycle left the roadway and went through two yards on N. Main St and eventually struck a driveway. The motorcycle and the driver then separated and both came to rest in a third yard. The motorcycle sustained moderate damage to the front windshield, front end, left side faring and seat. The driver was eventually flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland for injuries sustained in the accident.
The accident remains under investigation and alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

8:04 p.m. – 400 Block of Charles Ave
James L Stephenson, age 53, of Amherst was traveling westbound on Charles Ave in a 2004 Ford Escape and failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway. Stephenson left the right side of the roadway and then traveled into the tree lawn of 530 Charles Ave. Stephenson's vehicle went between a set of mailboxes and a power supply box and struck a street light pole. The pole collapsed and Stephenson continued over the pole into the tree lawn of 540 Charles Ave. then swerving left back onto the street. Stephenson's vehicle was dragging the top of the streetlight.

Stephenson's vehicle then darted across both lanes of traffic into the tree lawn of 541 Charles Ave where the top of the streetlight came to rest. Stephenson vehicle then swerved back onto the street and traveled approximately 650 feet until it slammed into the rear of a parked Ford Ranger on the north side of the street. The Ranger was pushed approximately 25’ into a set of mailboxes, destroying them, then into a parked Jeep Wrangler – pushing it about 6 feet.

The Amherst Utilities Department was notified for the downed pole and live wires.

Mr. Stephenson’s vehicle sustained heavy damage, as did the parked Ford Ranger. The Jeep Wrangler sustained moderate damage.

Mr. Stephenson was transported to Amherst Hospital and later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland for injuries he sustained in the accident.

Preliminary reports indicate Mr. Stephenson was not wearing a seatbelt. This incident remains under investigation.

2:42 a.m. March 18th – Tenney and Spring Street
Scott B Morris, age 20, of Lorain was traveling eastbound on Tenney Ave approaching the intersection of Spring St in a 2001 Kia Optima. Two other vehicles were stopped at the stop sign at that intersection. Mr. Morris failed to stop his vehicle and struck the back of a 2006 Pontiac G-6 driven by Elizabeth Smith, age 24, of Amherst. Miss Smith’s vehicle stuck the rear of a 2008 Mercury Mariner driven by Kristina Van Wagnen, age 23, of Lorain.

As a result of the accident, Miss Smith had to be removed from her vehicle by the Amherst Fire Department. She was transported to Amherst hospital and later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

The vehicles driven by Morris and Smith sustained a moderate amount of damage and were both disabled. Van Wagnen’s vehicle sustained only minor damage.

As a result of the investigation Mr. Morris was formally charged with Operating a Vehicle under the Influence, Assured Clear Distance, Underage Consumption, and Blood Alcohol Content over .17%.

Morris was then processed through the Amherst City Jail and later released on personal recognizance pending appearance in Oberlin Municipal Court on 3/20/09 at 8:30am.


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