Wadsworth: Wrong-way driver in fatal I-76 crash sentenced

1:26 PM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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MEDINA COUNTY --  A Wadsworth man was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for driving the wrong way on I-76 Jan. 23, killing a Mahoning County man.

Justen T. Russell, 23, of Wadsworth, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and four counts of felonious assault.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler sentenced him to 15 years and suspended his driver's license for 25 years.

Prosecutors said that on Jan 23, Russell drove his 2009 Scion westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-76 in Wadsworth Township without the headlights on, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Between the exits for state Routes 57 and 94, the Scion slammed head-on into a Chevrolet Impala driven by Robert Merold, 57, of Lake Milton in Mahoning County.

Merold was taken to Medina Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Two passengers in Merold's Impala were injured.


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