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Alcohol suspected in Ridge Road fatality

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:48 PM

The state Highway Patrol suspects the driver in a Thursday morning crash on Ridge Road that killed a Monroeville man was under the influence of alcohol.

Trooper Steve Drew, in his report released today, said there was a blood test performed on the driver, Timothy A. Brant, 26, of 330 Peru Center Road, Monroeville. Brant's brother and passenger, Michael D. Brant, 29, of 2612 Ohio 162, was pronounced dead at the scene by Huron County Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Harwood.

Two witnesses saw both men at a Benedict Avenue bar minutes before the crash, Lt. Jim Bryan said. One of the witnesses reported seeing Timothy Brant consuming alcohol, he added.

Test results for Brant won't be available until about four to six weeks after the patrol subpoenas hospital records, Bryan explained.

The driver, who was wearing his seat belt, was taken from the scene to the Medical University of Ohio Medical Center in Toledo. A Medical University spokesman said the hospital had a listing for Brant, but no condition was available this morning.

"I believe he has been released," Bryan said.

Brant was heading south on Ridge Road near South Norwalk Road about 2:15 a.m. Thursday when he failed to negotiate a curve. He went off the right side of the road and hit a guard rail and bridge, which ripped the 1993 Dodge Intrepid in half from front to back and ejected the passenger, Drew said.

A Norwalk firefighter estimated the passenger, Michael Brant, was thrown about 50 or 60 feet from the car. Troopers haven't determined if he was wearing a seat belt because of the damage to the Intrepid.

Earlier, Sgt. Mary Mack estimated both halves of the vehicle were about 100 feet apart from where the driver left Ridge Road. She said Timothy Brant, the driver, may have had internal injuries to his chest area.

Sgt. Anthony DeChoudens, who arrived first on the scene, spoke to Brant and "detected an odor of alcohol on him," Bryan said.

The post commander said a Mansfield-area trooper has been assigned as a crash reconstructionist to determine speed and make sure "all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed" because of the severity of the crash.

No charges have been filed in Norwalk Municipal Court, and the investigation is ongoing.

"I'm waiting to hear back from the patrol," Norwalk Law Director Stuart O'Hara said.

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