December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Police wait to charge elderly driver in high-speed crash

A North Ridgeville police officer recorded this vehicle traveling at 97 mph before it rear-ended another vehicle on Route 83. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

A North Ridgeville police officer recorded this vehicle traveling at 97 mph before it rear-ended another vehicle on Route 83. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Police said Monday they will weigh any charges against an 88-year-old driver against the man’s recovery following a crash last week in which he was speeding at nearly 100 mph when he rear-ended a car.

Frank Cimino, an Avon resident, remained in critical condition Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, said media spokesman Jonah Rosenblum.

Neither Cimino’s wife, Ruth, 75, nor Patricia Habenicht, 66, of North Ridgeville, who were also involved in the March 17 crash, were seriously injured.

“What happens will be determined by the man’s long-term situation and his being expected to make a full recovery,” police Capt. Marti Garrow said Monday.

Police said Cimino’s 2006 Buick Lucerne crashed into the rear of a 2013 Mazda CX-5 driven by Habenicht on Avon-Belden Road near Dorchester Avenue. The force of the collision flipped Habenicht’s vehicle end-over-end, while Cimino’s car traveled several hundred feet before stopping.

Police indicated a day after the crash that they believed Cimino had suffered some type of medical problem that led to the high-speed collision.

A North Ridgeville policeman driving north on state Route 83 clocked Cimino’s vehicle traveling at 97 mph just before the crash.

Garrow cited privacy laws for not releasing any information related to Cimino’s health or medical condition at the time of the crash.

Garrow said police likely will push for Cimino to “get re-certified (re-tested) for his (driver’s) license” if he makes a full recovery and plans to continue driving.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.