The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 26, 2013

Huntsburg crash leaves one dead

HUNTSBURG TOWNSHIP — A Roaming Shores man could face criminal charges after a two-vehicle crash on Route 322 left one person dead Tuesday evening.

The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. near the intersection of Route 322 and Clay Street.

Jacob M. Cochran, 34, of Roaming Shores, was eastbound on Route 322 in a 2004 Dodge Dakota when a 2002 Chevy Cavalier, driven by Gary L. Swontek, of Middlefield, failed to yield at the stop sign at the intersection of Route 322 and Clay Street, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Chardon Post.

Swontek’s vehicle was struck by Cochran’s truck as it drove through the intersection, according to reports.

Swontek was pronounced dead at the scene by the Geauga County Coroner’s Office. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to reports.

Cochran was wearing his seat belt and did not sustain injuries during the crash. Cochran was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated; however, OHP Lt. Mark Neff said charges have not been pursued at this time due to the significance of the crash.

Cochran was taken to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center where he submitted to a blood test. Neff said the results will not be available for about two weeks.

He said Cochran was driving with a suspended license and could be facing driving under suspension charges as well as OVI charges. Additional criminal charges may also be filed based on the Geauga County Prosecutor’s review of the case, Neff said.

Speed is not believed to be a factor in the crash. OHP is still investigating the crash.

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