Sandusky driver involved in two separate crashes

MARGARETTA TWP. Striking a car didn't seem to slow down a Sandusky area driver, who went on to
Annie Zelm
May 24, 2010



Striking a car didn’t seem to slow down a Sandusky area driver, who went on to hit several mailboxes, trees and utility poles before he finally stopped.

James H. Fields Jr., 41, 7513 Mason Road, suffered serious injuries after he was involved in two separate crashes while apparently driving drunk Thursday afternoon, according to officials at the Sandusky post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Sgt. Eric Short said Fields “reeked” of alcohol and seemed to have no control of his car.

“I don’t think he even realized he was involved in a crash, he was so inebriated,” Short said. “It’s amazing, everything he hit.”

In the first crash, Fields was driving south on Ohio 101, just south of Ohio 2, at about 3:30 p.m. when he struck the back of a 1997 Buick LeSabre driven by Norwalk resident Ernest J. Erdman, 84.

Erdman and his wife, 81-year-old Clara, were not injured.

Short said the couple didn’t have a cell phone and tried to keep up with Fields hoping to stop him, but they couldn’t drive fast enough. It is not know how fast Fields was traveling.

After hitting the couple’s car, Fields drove past them and veered off the right side of the road. He continued driving through a ditch, striking a mailbox. He turned onto Bardshar Road and then onto Skadden Road, where he struck another mailbox, two evergreen trees and two utility poles before coming to rest on the road.

Fields was not wearing his seat belt and was taken by medical helicopter to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo.

A hospital spokeswoman said he was in fair condition Thursday evening.

The crash knocked out power along Skadden and Bardshar roads. At some houses, it was not restored until hours later.

Fields’ car, a 1996 Oldsmobile Ciera, sustained heavy front end damage and was towed by Reidy’s towing.

The highway patrol was assisted by the Erie County Sheriff’s office and Margaretta Township Fire Department.

Fields had not been charged Thursday but potentially faces charges that include hit-skip, driving under the influence and failure to control his vehicle.