Friday, July 6, 2012
An Akron motorist has been charged in connection with the April collision with an ambulance that killed her friend.
Cherica Jones, 20, is accused of misdemeanor charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and failing to stop at a malfunctioning traffic light. She is scheduled to appear for an initial appearance Friday in Akron Municipal Court.
Jones was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer east on West Cedar Street when her SUV collided with an American Medical Response ambulance at the intersection at Wabash Avenue near Akron General Medical Center.
A traffic light at the intersection was not operating at the time of the crash due to a power outage. The southbound ambulance crashed into the rear driver’s side of Jones’ SUV, killing backseat passenger Collins D. Green, 57.
Jones was driving Green to his Akron home about 3:20 a.m. April 19.
Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards said an investigatory reconstruction of the crash by officers showed Jones failed to stop at the intersection, as required when traffic lights are not operating.
In addition, the reconstruction showed Jones was traveling about 49 mph as she entered the intersection. The speed limit on West Cedar Street is 30 mph.
The ambulance, which was en route to Akron General, did stop at the light and was proceeding through the intersection at about 19 mph, police said. It struck Jones’ vehicle in the third-most southern lane of the four-lane roadway.
The ambulance driver was transferring a 56-year-old hospital patient from Macedonia and therefore was not required to activate the vehicle’s emergency lights or siren.
Jones was driving with Green and two other men. No one else was seriously injured in the crash.
One of Jones’ passengers contended in an interview after the crash that they stopped at the intersection before proceeding. Police, however, say they believe Jones failed to stop based on the speed of the SUV and the lack of skid marks.
The criminal charges filed against Jones are first-degree misdemeanors that carry a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.