Woman dies 4 months after charity motorcycle ride crash, driver facing assault charge
Campell Law Director Brian Macala tells 21 News that his office was already pursuing a more serious charge against a Lowellville driver even before the death of one of those injured when the woman's SUV veered into the path of a charity motorcycle ride in Coitsville.
The Mahoning County Coroner’s office confirmed to 21 News that 56-year-old Patricia Hagerty of Youngstown passed away Monday night. The coroner is still working to determine the cause of Hagerty’s death.
State Troopers say Hagerty was seriously injured on June 25 when 65-year-old Gloria Dothard of Lowellville drove her SUV into the path of two oncoming motorcycles taking part in the Teddy Foltz Memorial Ride on Route 616. Patricia's husband, Harold Hagerty was on the same motorcycle as her and was also injured in the crash. Another motorcycle crashed in front of the Hagarty’s and was driven by Paul Halfelder. Family members of the Hagarty’s say Paul is still in the hospital.
After a visiting judge in Campbell Municipal Court fined Dothard $100 after accepting her "no contest" plea to a charge of having a broken tail light, Campbell Law Director Macala asked that the plea be dismissed.
Macala tells 21 News that before Patricia's death, his office had already arranged a court date for Dothard to answer an assault charge filed in connection with the crash.
Asked if the State Patrol would consider more serious charges now that one of the victims has died, investigating Trooper Sgt. Stephen Murphy told 21 News that under the state patrol's guidelines, an accident victim must pass away within 30 days of a crash to be considered a traffic fatality.
However, Macala said prosecutors are not bound by that time frame and additional charges are possible if the coroner determines that the death was the direct result of the crash.
"I’m not going to commit the Mahoning County Prosecutor's office to this, but to some charge that can be related to manslaughter or otherwise," Macala said about what charges could possibly come if the death certificate rules Patricia died from her injuries caused by the crash.
Dothard is due back in court on Friday Nov. 3 to be arraigned for the reckless assault charges relating to Harold and Paul's injuries. Macala said he is holding off filling the reckless assault charges related to Patricia's injuries until the death certificate is official.
Macala points out that he is leaving as Law Director in December and will brief his successor on the Dothard case, but also added that decisions on additional charges related to Hagerty's death would be left up to the Mahoning county prosecutor's office.