April 17, 2014

Elyria
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Driver allegedly fled after crash

ELYRIA — A Lorain man was arrested after allegedly striking another vehicle on state Route 57 and then leaving the scene.

At 10:16 p.m. Sunday, police were sent to state Route 57 near the Interstate 80 ramp for a vehicle that had spun out of control, striking another vehicle and the center median. Witnesses said the driver of the vehicle grabbed two duffel bags from his trunk and left north on Route 57.

Police found an empty white Pontiac Grand Am against the center median. An officer spoke with the witnesses, who said the man driving the car jumped a fence to Travelers Lane and appeared intoxicated.

The occupants of the other vehicle in the crash told police the Grand Am came off the ramp and traveled over a grass median, striking their Chevy Blazer. Police said the Blazer had some damage to the front right end.

Police found a man matching the description of the Grand Am’s driver near Red Lobster, 6935 Midway Mall. The man, later identified as Raul Lorenzana, 42, was confirmed to be the owner of the vehicle.

Lorenzana was arrested and charged with obstructing official business, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and on warrants through Avon and Sheffield police. He was also issued citations for driving under suspension, reasonable control and stopping after an accident. Police said Lorenzana denied being drunk but smelled of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test. Lorenzana refused to take a breath test.

Police said Lorenzana had two prior DUI charges through Elyria Municipal Court and Sheffield Mayor’s Court.

He pleaded not guilty Monday in Elyria Municipal Court. A pretrial was scheduled for 2:35 p.m. Jan. 7.