Two men in custody after fleeing crash

Published 1:57 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2004

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Two men were in Niles City Police custody Tuesday afternoon after fleeing the scene of a four-car, early morning crash at 14th and Oak, where they allegedly abandoned an injured passenger in an overturned car.
Niles City Police Chief Ric Huff said Tuesday his department received a 9-1-1 call at 7:40 a.m. that day, reporting several cars involved in an accident. The caller reported multiple injuries to occupants of the vehicles. Fortunately, none of those injuries turned out to be life-threatening.
Huff said when officers arrived, they were told by witness that a black Ford Explorer was traveling south on 14th Street at a high rate of speed and failed to stop for the stop sign at 14th and Oak.
Witnesses reported to police that as the Explorer crossed Oak Street, it collided with a westbound Saturn, driven by Rhonda Hardy. The Explorer then crashed into a parked Ford Tempo, occupied by Niles Police Department School Crossing Guard Dale Mangold.
Huff said witnesses reported, after crashing into the Tempo, the Explorer crashed into a parked unoccupied Dodge mini van owned by William Mueller.
After the Explorer came to a rest, the witnesses saw two young men climb out of the overturned Explorer and flee the scene of the crash southbound on 14th Street.
Rhonda Hardy received minor injures. Dale Mangold received several injures and was treated at Lakeland, Niles police said.
Carrie Thompson, a passenger in the Explorer, received several injuries and was treated at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind.
Jetria Rushing, the driver of the Explorer, and Paris Bradford, a passenger in the Explorer, who fled the scene of the accident, were located a couple of hours after the accident and placed under arrest, Huff said.
Charges are being requested against Rushing for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and reckless driving. Bradford was placed under arrest for an outstanding warrant.
The accident is still under investigation by the Niles City Police Department and the Michigan State Police.
The Niles City Police Department was assisted at the scene by the Niles City Fire Department, the Michigan State Police, and SMCAS.