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Initial Proceedings in the Death of a Teenage Bicyclist
LISBON —First, he didn’t know where his truck was, then he said he hit a mailbox, and months later he said he ran over the boy’s bike after someone else did.
Prosecutors say Donald E. White told these lies to cover up the fatal crash he caused last fall on Route 164 outside Columbiana. Tuesday witnesses testified about White’s claims.
“On Oct. 23, 2021, this defendant left 13-year-old Aidan Wollman to die on the side of the road,” a prosecutor said during White’s jury trial.
He alleged White’s truck hit him and his bike so hard that he landed 60 feet away and his bike was heavily damaged. Broken headlights, grills, and glass littered the scene. “The defendant never stopped,” Weikart stated. Five women and seven men will assess if White is responsible for what transpired that night. Two alternates were also chosen in case one of the 12 witnesses is injured during the trial.
White, 65, of Route 164, Salineville, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony, two counts of failing to stop after an accident, second and third-degree felonies, and possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony. The first three counts include the accident. The next day, he was accused of possessing cocaine at home.
Weikart offered an outline of the evidence during his opening statement, including damage to White’s 1987 Chevy Silverado’s grill and a headlight that matched components left at the crash scene. Read more: Lucy Letby; Nurse’s experiment reveals a disturbing trend in infant mortality
Trooper William Kanters said one of the headlight pieces matched a late 1980s Chevy Silverado. Later that night, Kanters located a disabled Chevy Silverado near state Route 344. He identified the truck in jurors’ images. White’s plate returned. Aidan’s companion saw him get hit by an older white truck, possibly a Dodge, according to Kanters. White’s pickup had light blue highlights, claimed Kanters.
Weikart told jurors he had a duty to stop and call the police, Nope. He probably knew someone was dead after the crash but didn’t tell anyone. “You don’t have to mean it,” he said of aggravated vehicular homicide. The danger was unjustified. After the accident, White involved his family. Weikart said he abandoned the truck, his son picked him up, and his wife took him to Youngstown to acquire cocaine. White says he hit a mailbox after saying he couldn’t find his truck.
James Wise, White’s defense counsel, encouraged jurors to be open-minded. Sympathy doesn’t prove facts, he argued. Wise said the proof must come from witnesses, not lawyers. In his opening statement, he recounted the 9 p.m., dark accident.
Can you imagine a kid riding a bike at 9 p.m. in the dark? Read more: Nm Scientists Study 2020’s Bird Die-off to Avert Recurrence
Kanters was cross-examined about the victim’s clothes. Black hooded sweater, multicolored sweatpants. The truck’s windshield was unharmed when he enquired.
Assistant Prosecutor Steve Yacovone questioned the witnesses, including OSHP Trooper Joshua Yeager of the Lisbon post, who came after Kanters and tried to help Aidan, who was unresponsive, had no pulse, and wasn’t breathing. Until EMS arrived, he performed chest compressions. He then checked for working cameras and found none.
The second youngster stated the truck swerved around him, raced off the road, and hit Aidan. No lights were on the bicycles. Wise questioned if the truck’s images showed any bars. Yeager stated the truck’s back had a missing tailgate and a strap. Yacovone asked him to describe it.
Yeager asked White about the abandoned truck, but no one was home. White’s phone pinged and showed him returning from Youngstown, so he returned. Then White’s wife stated the truck was taken. White stated he didn’t know where the truck was and acted calm after hearing about the accident. Read more: Three months after battling flames, a Spanish hero dies
The couple’s rights were read. Yeager questioned her further as she sat nervously in the cruiser. She stated she picked up her spouse from his nephew’s house. She said the truck’s keys were unlocked and her husband told her to say he was at his nephew’s house, that she picked him up, and he hit a mailbox. She allegedly drove him to Youngstown to acquire a crack.
White’s home was searched and the truck keys and probable drugs were located.
Today’s trial continues.
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