A Monroeville driver was charged with a passing violation in connection with the three-vehicle crash Wednesday that injured multiple people and pushed one of the vehicles into the West Side Sunoco.
Thomas M. Krisha, 61, of 50 Manchester St., Monroeville, was charged with passing on the right in an unsafe manner. The accident happened at 4:11 p.m.
(NOTE - To see pictures of the crash, click HERE.)
Nobody was injured inside the building and business continued after the crash.
Before the accident, Krisha was following a 2008 Chevrolet Trailbazer westbound on West Main Street.
The driver of the Trailblazer, Theresa J. Mills, 36, of 115 Gallup Ave., started to turn right into a business driveway and Krisha hit the right side of the truck as he attempted to pass on the right side, according to the Norwalk Police Department.
That collision pushed the Trailblazer into a parked 2004 Jeep, which was pushed into the south side wall of the store. The silver Jeep was parked by one of the windows. Capt. Dave Smith said the collision with the wall caused some of the masonry to cave in and the vehicle pushed the clerk's counter away from the wall.
North Central EMS transported the occupant of the parked Jeep, Valerie A. Warren, 44, of 2968 Ohio 99, Willard, to Fisher-Titus Medical Center with serious injuries. It's unknown if she was wearing a seatbelt.
Store clerk Heather Nickoli was standing at the counter. She said she heard tires squeal, turned around and it all happened very quickly.
"I jumped," Nickoli said. "It scared the crap out of me. I was standing right behind the counter.
"The whole wall is smashed. I can't believe it didn't break the glass," she told the Reflector soon after the incident.
The two drivers, Mills and Krisha, reported possible injuries, but weren't transported.
Krisha's passenger, Mary C. Kluding, 91, of 1 Valley Park Drive, sustained serious injuries, and Mills' passenger, Raven Emerick, 15, of 115 Gallup Ave., had minor injuries, police said. North Central EMS transported them to Fisher-Titus.
Another of Mills' passengers, Kevin Mills, 3, of the same address, went to the hospital with possible injuries. Police said the child was in a forward-facing "child restraint system."
Smith, the investigating officer, said the victims had non-life threatening injuries. He also said alcohol and drugs aren't considered factors.
Kluding wasn't wearing a seatbelt, but the other occupants were, police said.
The Norwalk Fire Department responded to the scene three minutes after the crash.
Firefighters said they provided basic life support, stabilized the vehicles and assisted North Central with packaging, loading and transporting the patients.
Interstate Towing towed the 1995 Oldsmobile driven by Krisha with disabling damage to the entire front of the car.
The wrecker also towed the Trailblazer away from the scene with moderate/functional damage to the right middle and front. White's Automotive Service towed away the parked Jeep with similar damage to both rear quadrants and the middle of the driver's side.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Reflector staff writer Aaron Krause contributed to this story.