The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 13, 2009

Teen hit, killed by car

15-year-old girl victim of hit-and-run driver


ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — A quiet walk along Fargo Drive turned tragic Saturday evening when a hit-and-run driver struck and killed a 15-year-old girl who was walking with a friend, said Sgt. Mike Lloyd of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Melanie Melotti, 15, of the Ashtabula area, was declared dead at the scene when a vehicle apparently southbound in the 3700 block of Fargo Drive struck her as she walked with a teen boy, Lloyd said.

“The witness was able to give a description of the suspect’s vehicle,” Lloyd said. He said a crash reconstructionist was brought to the scene to help in the investigation.

Lloyd said the two teens were apparently walking in the road when struck by the vehicle that continued on without stopping.

Dr. Pam Lancaster, of the Ashtabula Coroner’s Office, was on the scene of the investigation, Lloyd said.

Lloyd would not confirm how many people saw the hit and run and said it is still under investigation.

“Anyone with information can feel free to call us,” Lloyd said.

The teen boy was knocked to the ground and received minor injuries during the collision,” Lloyd said. He said troopers were able to notify both parents late Saturday evening.

Lloyd said it’s too early in the investigation to determine whether the driver intended to strike the victims. “You can’t rule it out yet,” he said.

Emergency workers placed yellow police tape across Fargo Drive around 7 p.m. as troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol investigated the death while the body lay in the street covered by a white sheet.

The incident occurred around 6:45 p.m. according to Marcus DeCamillo of Ashtabula. He said he arrived on the scene shortly after the incident and found the girl lying in the street.

“I checked the pulse and called 911,” DeCamillo said. Several people talked to troopers and a deputy from the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department at the scene.