Read more in Friday's Sandusky Register
A Massillon man accused of causing a fatal crash Tuesday in Bellevue has been released from the hospital, but charges have yet to be filed, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said.
Even so, criminal charges are inevitable for Morgan Jevec, 24, the driver of a Mercury Grand Marquis that slammed into an SUV at about 11:11 p.m. Tuesday and killed the driver, Tracy Albright, 36, of Bellevue.
“The severity of the charges depends on what we receive from the lab results,” Highway Patrol Lt. Doug Hammon said.
It’s still unknown if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, which happened at East Main and North Sandusky streets in downtown Bellevue.
A 911 caller first alerted Huron County dispatchers to the Mercury Grand Marquis driving recklessly as it passed through Monroeville at about 11:07 p.m., according to the recorded call.
Listen to the 911 calls in the player below
“There’s an older-type car just flew through town,” a woman is heard telling dispatchers. “He had to have been going almost 60. It’s an older-type vehicle. He almost lost control of the vehicle several times.”
The Grand Marquis passed the caller’s vehicle while heading west through Monroeville.
“It went by so fast,” the caller tells dispatchers. “I can only tell you it was darker in color, and that’s about it.”
Dispatchers alerted Bellevue police to the car at 11:07 p.m. Bellevue officers attempted to position their cruisers on the east side of the city, in hopes of intercepting the Grand Marquis.
The vehicle apparently passed by too quickly, however, and at about 11:10 p.m. it headed into Bellevue at about 80 mph. At least one police cruiser spotted the vehicle and headed after it, although the distance between the cruiser and the suspect’s vehicle is still unclear.
The Mercury slammed into the rear of Albright’s Chevy Blazer, which was stopped at East Main and North Sandusky streets, Bellevue police said. Both vehicles then went through the intersection before bursting into flames, striking a third vehicle stopped on the other side of the intersection. The driver of that car was treated by paramedics at the scene.
After firefighters extinguished the flames, they pulled Albright’s body from the charred SUV. The body has been sent to the Lucas County coroner’s office for an autopsy, which could help determine if she died from the crash impact or the ensuing fire, Huron County coroner Jeff Harwood said.
“It’s something we’re hoping we might learn from the autopsy,” Harwood said. The coroner’s office will also try to positively identify her body through dental records.
Jevec and the three passengers in his vehicle — Christopher Watters, 48; Ricky Treherne Jr., 32; and Steven Gresser, 31, all from Canton — were flown by medical helicopters to Toledo hospitals. Jevec was released from Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center Thursday, but the three others remain in hospitals. Watters and Treherne are at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, while Gresser is at the Toledo Hospital.
Troopers said they’ll await lab results from a blood-alcohol test to determine the severity of Jevec’s charges. Troopers are also working to finish a reconstruction of the crash scene, as well as consulting with Huron County prosecutors.