Occupants abandon vehicle that went over cliff

Cary Ashby • Jul 15, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Authorities found the driver of a vehicle that went over a 30-foot cliff outside Norwalk on Friday about 12 hours after the crash.

The Norwalk Fire Department responded with the Huron County Sheriff's Office to the crash site, 1268 Lovers Lane Road, at 9:08 p.m.

"Upon arrival, (we) investigated and were informed that the occupants had exited the vehicle and had fled the scene," fire Capt. Brett Beers said in his report.

"(We) performed a search of the vehicle and the perimeter of the property, but could not locate them."

Deputies brought in a canine unit to search the area, but came up with negative results. With the sheriff's office handling the investigation, firefighters returned to the station at 9:45 p.m.

Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said deputies determined Melvin Peterson, 44, of Newton Street, was driving with his son on Lovers Lane Road when he went off the road and down the ravine.

"Then he fled on foot," the sheriff's spokesman said. "A neighbor saw him flee on foot.

"He was found about 12 hours later by Sgt. (Steve) Shupp," Patrick said. "When asked by deputies (about the crash), he claimed he was looking for his dog."

Peterson was charged with failure to yield and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"He had drug paraphernalia in the vehicle," Patrick said.

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