YPD chief says they have lead in fatal I-680 crash

YPD Chief Robin Lees

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees said accident investigators have identified a vehicle and a driver that may have been involved in a fatal hit-skip crash on Interstate 680 Monday morning.

Lees said police received a tip from the public on Tuesday that accident investigators followed up on and he hopes there will be a break in the case by Wednesday.

“We appreciate the information from the citizen that provided it because it led us in the right direction,” Lees said.

He said the tip had to do with an individual who would have been on the freeway when the accident occurred about 5:45 a.m. Monday on I-680 southbound near the Shirley Road exit. He said investigators have a vehicle that an initial examination indicates might be the one involved in the crash that killed Nicole Baird, 20, of Youngstown.

Lees said they also have identified someone that may have been the driver.

“We hope to have enough to move forward with the investigation tomorrow,” he said.

The chief said the tip was very valuable because there was a lack of physical evidence at the scene and a lack of clues.

According to police, Baird stopped her car in the far left hand lane while traveling northbound and exited her vehicle after she hit something, which turned out to be a bag of leaves. After exiting the vehicle, she was struck by a sedan that had pulled onto the left shoulder. The impact sent the woman flying over the concrete median and onto the southbound side of the interstate.

The person who originally hit Baird called authorities and said he was talking to the woman when a second car hit and killed her. A family member said she was pregnant, so the crash actually took two lives.

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