New Castle News

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September 11, 2013

Teen jailed after crash injures six

NEW CASTLE — A 19-year-old Ohio man was jailed following an accident in North Beaver Township that injured seven people.

 State police say Travis James Panezich of Poland ran a stop sign and struck a minivan with six occupants, four of them children.

Troopers say they later found suspected marijuana while searching Panezich’s Toyota Celica.

According to police, Panezich was driving on Stateline Road about 8 p.m. Tuesday and apparently failed to stop at the intersection of West Poland Road.

His car struck a minivan driven by Chad Hilliard, 45, of East Poland Road, causing the minivan to spin counter clockwise, roll over and hit a tree before landing in the front yard of a house.

The Buick Terraza had been hit on the driver’s side, police said.

All occupants of the van were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown. Some were flown from the scene by helicopter.

Hilliard was listed in satisfactory condition yesterday. Passengers Moyra Hilliard, 5, and Joselin Hilliard, 3, were listed in serious condition, and Courtney E. Hilliard, 31, and her daughter Nadia, 6 months, were treated at the hospital, then discharged.

Police said all passengers in the minivan were wearing safety belts or were properly secured in child safety seats.

Police said Panezich was treated at Jameson Hospital for a hand injury and released.

Both vehicles were towed.

Panzenich is charged with four counts of aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, two counts of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance and five summary traffic offenses including possession of alcohol by a minor, driving at unsafe speed, reckless and careless driving and a stop sign violation.

He was arraigned by District Judge Scott McGrath, who set his jail bond at $10,000 bond.  He has since been freed on bail.

A charge of possession of marijuana also is pending against him, police said.

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