Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018
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Trucker pleads no contest in 2016 death

Maumee woman, 20, killed in U.S. 24 crash

More than a year ago, 20-year-old Elliot Struble was killed when her car hit the rear of a tractor-trailer on U.S. 24.

On Wednesday, the truck driver, who was either stopped or slowly moving in reverse on the busy highway, pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter for causing the Maumee woman’s death.

Eshtar-Salman

Eshtar Salman, 38, of Detroit is guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Sentencing is set for July 28.

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Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ian English found Eshtar Salman, 38, of Detroit guilty of the third-degree felony. While the offense carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, prosecutors plan to recommend Salman be placed on community control at his sentencing July 28 as part of a plea agreement.

Mark Herr, an assistant county prosecutor, told the court Ms. Struble was eastbound on U.S. 24 approaching the I-475 interchange in Maumee on March 25, 2016, when she drove over the hill and collided with Salman’s truck.

“She was on a heavily traveled roadway at a busy time of day,” Mr. Herr said. “... Mr. Salman was an over-the-road truck driver. His vehicle was stopped in the inside lane of U.S. 24 at the time of the collision. Multiple witnesses would indicate the defendant was either stopped or at a slow back at the time of the collision, and that has been a point of contention throughout this case.”

Still, he said, Salman committed a combination of misdemeanor offenses that support the involuntary manslaughter charge — not having a proper vehicle endorsement, driving a vehicle not equipped to carry the load he had on board, and making a false entry in his log book.

“There is a question about whether or not he took the necessary breaks required by law when traveling such distances,” Mr. Herr said. “We also believe the improper stopping and backing on the roadway would constitute the necessary misdemeanor this charge can be predicated on.”

Mr. Herr said Ms. Struble was 20 years and 1 day old when she was killed. She died from multiple blunt force injuries.

“On March 24, 1996, Eliot Virginia Struble was born to her loving family,” he said. “She led a remarkable life in the short time she was here. She touched everyone who knew her.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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