Police fault student in fatal crash

The Youngstown Police Department charged Youngstown State University student Samantha Yoder with vehicular homicide for the car accident that killed Susan Welsh, 45, on Feb. 14.

Yoder pleaded not guilty during her arraignment on Wednesday. If convicted, she could face up to six months in the Mahoning County Jail.

Yoder was traveling southbound on Fifth Avenue in the left turn lane when she allegedly ran a red light and hit the Impala that Susan Welsh was driving westbound on Rayen Avenue. Susan Welsh and her mother, Elaine Welsh, 79, were both taken directly to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where Susan Welsh was in critical condition.

Susan Welsh died two days later.

Detective Sgt. Patricia Garcar, who investigated the case, said she believes Yoder ran the red light because she was distracted while driving.

In the traffic crash witness report, Yoder said, “I was driving straight in the left lane on Fifth Avenue. All I remember was running into the side of the vehicle. I was sure the light was green. It all happened so quickly.”

According to the report, Yoder stated that she was not texting, but she admitted to being on the phone with her boyfriend.

A pretrial date has been set for May 7.