The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 6, 2013

Madison Township police still on hunt for fatal hit-and-run driver

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

MADISON TOWNSHIP — Madison Township police officers are doggedly following every lead to find the suspect in the Feb. 22 fatal hit-and-run that killed a 28-year-old man as they await autopsy results and trace evidence to aid in the investigation.

“We have had an influx of leads,” Lt. Tim Brown said, “The calls are pretty consistent, but nothing is panning out.”

Joseph Gersin, 28, of Madison Township was found “unresponsive” and lying on Hubbard Road at Tarbell Avenue on Feb. 22, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run. He died at the Lake Health Madison emergency department.

Now investigators are waiting for autopsy findings to lead them to the driver of what they think is a white or cream colored car with moderate front-end damage, including damage to the windshield.

Brown said investigators are following up on every call and car sighting.

“We appreciate the calls when we get them, and we get about two calls each day,” he said. “We want those calls to keep coming in because sooner or later something will bubble up. When we find that car, that driver, it is going to jump up at us.”

The officers are also waiting for paint chips and other trace evidence, including autopsy photographs, from the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Department to help narrow the search.

“We still have not gotten any info from the autopsy,” he said. “That doesn’t mean the autopsy wasn’t done, but once the evidence is collected from the autopsy, it has to go to the lab to be processed, so we are waiting for it. Right now, unfortunately, there is nothing new to report.”

Officers said Gersin was not in the roadway long before he was discovered, though investigators found no tire skid marks on the roadway and no evidence that the driver attempted to slow down. Lack of street lighting at the intersection also hindered witnesses.

Brown said the officers will continue to follow every lead and respond to every telephone call.

“One thing I can say is that we think it is a local person,” he said. “We think it is only a matter of time before we find something.”

Anyone with information related to the crash should contact the Madison Township Police Department at 428-2115.