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Driver in fatal crash accused of falling asleep behind wheel

A 20-year-old male driver accused of causing an accident that ended the life of a 55-year-old woman in a car crash in Howland, Ohio, is accused of having fallen asleep while driving. His 1997 Nissan Pathfinder was going west at approximately 9:52 p.m. on King-Graves Road. His vehicle veered off the road and went into a ditch. Subsequently, police recovered the woman's body the following morning at approximately the same location as the car went into the ditch. She was dead and had been a resident of Howland.

Police say that they do not believe that the driver realized that he struck the woman. They also indicated that, at this time, there were no indications that he was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, as is the case in so many Ohio car accidents. Forensic testing by law enforcement is being carried out to try to confirm that his car hit the women.

If that is confirmed, then criminal prosecution is expected. The woman who was killed was a wife, as well as the mother of four children. She worked as a registered nurse at both a local health center and at the Howland Glen Elementary School. Her daughter was a team member on the Howland High School girls basketball team, and she herself was described by the team's coach as a great supporter of the team.

A criminal prosecution, of course, does nothing to compensate accident victims or their families when a reckless driver maims or kills a pedestrian, other motorist, or passenger. Lawsuits for personal injury or wrongful death, of course, can never really fully compensate someone for a disabling injury or heal the unending wound that the loss of a loved one inflicts on a family. But it does justly shift at least some of the economic burden from innocent victims and their families to those responsible for an accident, and may play a role in deterring others from driving in a reckless manner.

Source:, "OSHP IDs driver in fatal Howland accident, says he fell asleep at wheel" Ed Runyan, Dec. 14, 2013

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