Driver charged with Youngstown firefighter's death may change pl - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Driver charged with Youngstown firefighter's death may change plea

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A Cleveland area woman charged in connection with a traffic accident that claimed the life of a veteran Youngstown fireman may be changing her not guilty plea.

Following Wednesday's pre-trial hearing in Ashtabula Municipal Court, court officials said another hearing has been set for February 16 where 48-year-old Josephine Palmer of Northfield, Ohio is expected to change her earlier not guilty plea to charges of vehicular manslaughter and failure to yield.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol in Ashtabula County says Palmer was driving the van that failed to stop at the intersection of State Route 45 and North Bend Road in Saybrook Township on October 20.

Ronald Russo, a Battalion Chief with the Youngstown Fire Department, died when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by Palmer's van, according to the patrol.

Russo, 64, of Poland, was taken to Ashtabula County Medical Center with serious injuries and was subsequently flown to a hospital in Cleveland where he passed away.

According to reports, Russo was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Palmer and two passengers in the van were not injured.

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