Fatal Canfield crash leaves investigators with more questions than answers


CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened after a Canfield crash that killed a Boardman man.

They’re running into more questions than answers, though. 

Authorities still don’t know what time the crash occurred, but the first call to 911 was made just after 3 a.m. Saturday from a passerby.

When Mahoning County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the location on Shields Road, they found tire tracks, a sheared-off tree and a wrecked 2017 Mercedes Benz registered to a Canfield man.

No one was inside, however.

Highway Patrol Lt. Jerad Sutton said they’re still piecing together exactly what happened, and they don’t know who was driving at the time of the crash.

Investigators do know that 23-year-old Ryan Lanzo and 27-year-old Michael Malvasi, Jr., of Canfield, were in the car, which is registered to Malvasi’s father.

Lanzo was pronounced dead at Saint Elizabeth’s Emergency Center in Austintown, but he wasn’t taken there by ambulance.

Sutton said a family member of Malvasi took him there.

Malvasi lives less than a mile and a half from the crash site — on Timber Run Drive. Troopers said it would take roughly 30 minutes to walk there on foot or a couple minutes by vehicle.

The 911 caller indicated that she saw two cars.

“Both of the cars are pretty banged up, and I saw someone lying on the ground by one of the cars,” the caller told a dispatcher.

According to investigators, another 40 minutes passed before Lanzo arrived at Saint Elizabeth Health Center — less than five miles away.

Investigators expect that their case could take some time.

“Generally, in an investigation like this, it takes months to get the evidence back… DNA evidence is the primary evidence that you use in an investigation like this,” said Highway Patrol Lt. Jerad Sutton.

This isn’t Malvasi’s first run-in with the law.

Police said he was involved in a fight caught on surveillance video in 2009, outside his house. He ultimately pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

He was also the subject of a raid in August in which police reporting finding drugs and a gun. Although no charges have been filed in that case, he is set for trial this February, accused of assaulting a man during a bar fight a year ago in Youngstown

In addition, Malvasi’s father spent four months in jail after a federal tax evasion conviction in 2011.

As for Saturday’s crash, troopers say they’re working with prosecutors to determine whether charges will be filed.