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Cops and Courts

Woman charged in fatal Elyria crash

  • Kristi-Fitch-mug-1

    Kristi Fitch

    LORAIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

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ELYRIA — An Amherst woman has been indicted on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide in connection to a fatal crash that took the life of a woman at the intersection of West Avenue and Third Street nearly a year ago.

Kristi Fitch, 41, was indicted on a second-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony count of vehicular homicide and one count of operating a vehicle impaired by a Lorain County grand jury, according to Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will.

Fitch was arrested Thursday afternoon on the secret indictment and taken to Lorain County Jail, where she’s being held on $100,000 bond, according to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

Police have said Fitch was involved in a fatal crash Aug. 28, 2017, about 5:45 a.m. that killed Vicki Hill, 58, of Elyria.

Hill was stopped at the traffic signal on West Avenue, heading northbound, at the intersection of Third Street in her 2007 Jeep Liberty when she was struck by Fitch’s 2003 Buick Century, according to police.

When officers arrived, the Jeep Liberty was in flames. Officers attempted to get into the vehicle but were pushed back by the intensity of the flames, police have said.

Fire personnel arrived and tried to extinguish the fire and remove Hill from the vehicle, but were unsuccessful, police said. Hill died at the scene.

Fitch was yelling for help in the Buick, and officers were able to remove her from the vehicle before it caught fire. She was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and was treated and eventually released.

Fitch was cited with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Two days later, though, Will’s office asked for the charge to be dismissed so further investigation could be completed.

Will said the investigation into the crash was complicated, which led to the delay.

“There was extensive reconstruction and forensic analysis that went on, both with the chemical analysis and the vehicles,” Will said.

Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino credited the officers who worked on the investigation.

“Officers, from the first-responding officers to the crash investigators to the detectives, certainly should be commended on the work they did putting this all together,” Costantino said. “It was a very difficult case for everyone involved.”

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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