September 18, 2014

Elyria
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No charges for school van accident, investigators say

ELYRIA — No charges will be filed regarding a crash Tuesday that involved a Midview Schools van.

Elyria police Lt. Chris Costantino said investigators could not determine who was at fault for the crash. Police were called to the 1500 block of S. Abbe Road at 3:14 p.m. Tuesday when a 2012 Ford Taurus struck a Chrysler minivan driven by a Midview Schools employee.

The employee, Margaret Cogar, told police she was transporting a Midview student to his home and was backing into the driveway with the vehicle’s hazard lights on when she was struck in the rear driver’s side by the Taurus.

Cogar and an occupant, Kathy Nowlan, were transported by LifeCare ambulance to EMH Elyria Medical Center for unknown injuries. The student, 12-year-old Carson Gordon, who is autistic, appeared to be uninjured but was taken to EMH to be checked out.

Cogar told police she had been transporting the student for three years and had made sure there was no traffic before she started backing into the driveway. She said she did not see the Taurus before the crash.

The driver of the Taurus, Michael Dilello, 36, told police he was northbound on South Abbe Road when he saw the minivan directly in front of him. He said the vehicle turned sideways across two lanes of travel, but he did not know whether it was turning into the driveway on the west side of the road or backing into the driveway on the east side. He said he swerved but still struck the rear panel.

Dilello’s vehicle sustained disabling front-end damage, while the Midview van had minor damage.

According to a traffic crash report, Dilello was traveling at the listed speed limit of 35 mph.

Midview Superintendent John Kuhn said the district will conduct its own internal investigation and determine what training or action, if any, is necessary.

Reporter Cindy Leise contributed to this report. Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.