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Driver might have crashed intentionally

Courtney Astolfi • Jul 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM


A drunken driver crashed his vehicle on Hayes Avenue Sunday evening, then stumbled away from the scene on foot. Two other local residents later told police they were passengers inside the vehicle, and the man crashed it intentionally to try to kill them, police said.

Kendal Burks, 27, who told police he lived on Wayne Street but also has a Cleveland-area address, was charged with failure to control, leaving the scene of an accident, operating a vehicle under the influence, menacing, persistent disorderly conduct intoxicated, driving under suspension and a seat belt violation.

Burks crashed his cousin's purple Cadillac into a utility pole near the Hayes Avenue underpass Sunday around 6 p.m., according to a Sandusky police report.

When Sandusky officers arrived at the scene, they found Burks walking away from the wreck with a blood-soaked face, the report said.

He told officers he was walking away from the area because he didn't have a license, but later denied leaving the scene of an accident altogether.

On his own admission, Burks said he was drunk—he did however say he was alone in the car, but had lost consciousness and couldn't remember what happened.

The car owner told police Burks did not have permission to use his vehicle—according to the man, who is Burks' cousin, Burks had taken the vehicle while a group of friends were hanging out in a Milan Road apartment complex.

But about two hours after the crash, two Wayne Street residents said they were hanging out with Burks when he told them to get in the car “because they were going for a ride,” the report said.

When Burks reached the underpass, he allegedly told the pair he was going to kill them before swerving into a curb.

The impact of the crash knocked Burks unconscious, the couple said, but his foot hit the accelerator and the vehicle traveled into the utility pole.

The man said there was an argument involving Burks and a second man a few days ago, and he believed Burks' actions on Sunday were meant as retaliation, the report said.

The pair left the scene after a woman ordered them to, they told police.

The couple filled out statements, which will be sent to the prosecutor for review and possible charges.

Meanwhile, Burks was uncooperative with medical staff at Firelands Regional Hospital. He also accused a Sandusky police officer of calling him racial slurs.

On the way to the Erie County jail, Burks kept pestering the same officer to take off his badge so the two could fight, the report said.

Burks remains behind bars on about $16,000 bond. 

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