Wednesday, May 23, 2018 Elyria 67°

Cops and Courts

Charges against driver in fatal six-car wreck dropped -- for now

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    Donald Buchs



ELYRIA - Charges against Donald Buchs, a man accused of being the at-fault driver in a six-car crash that killed a 6-year-old girl, have been dismissed by the Lorain County Prosecutor while police continue their investigation.

According to court documents, charges against Buchs, 24, of Vermilion, of operating a vehicle impaired and accident with collision were dismissed on Monday.

Prosecutor Dennis Will said Wednesday that there will be a further investigation because "other information came out during the initial gathering of information."

Will said police are still waiting on forensic evidence and a toxicology report for Buchs.

"When we finish the investigation and get all our evidence together we will review it and move forward from that point," Will said.

He explained that if the OVI and collision charges were left pending, Buchs would need to be brought to trial in a certain time frame under state law "and that might have impacted our case in other ways."

Capt. Chris Costantino said dismissing the original charges "makes the process a lot smoother."

Buchs, driving a Ford F-250, rear ended Nancy Burnett, 47, and her daughter, Alia Bailey, 6, in a 2015 Ford Explorer in the left turn lane of the southbound lanes of Route 57 Sunday, Jan. 21, and hit four other cars also stopped at the intersection of Route 57 and Cleveland Street. Police initially said Buchs appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

Burnett and Bailey were flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland where Bailey died Thursday. Burnett suffered multiple fractures in her leg requiring surgery.

Bailey was a first grader at Grindstone Elementary School in Berea. A benefit is scheduled for her family 2 to 9 p.m. Feb. 16 at St. John Lutheran Church, 1140 West River Road N. in Elyria. The benefit is a potluck with a $10 entry fee and raffles.

Contact Jodi Weinberger at 329-7245 or Follow her on Twitter @Jodi_Weinberger.

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