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Published: Monday, 2/18/2008

Man, 22, killed, 5 injured in a crash near Sandusky

SANDUSKY - A 22-year-old man was killed, a 19-year-old woman was in critical condition, and four other young people were in trauma centers after their car struck a utility pole and then a brick wall just off U.S. 6 early yesterday, authorities said.

The crash, which occurred between Sandusky and Huron, Ohio, appears to be alcohol-related, according to authorities.

Nicholas A. Codispoti of Sandusky was pronounced dead at Firelands Regional Medical Center, Sandusky, after the crash that occurred about 4:40 a.m., the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Marisa A. Roberts, who lives east of Norwalk in Huron County's Norwalk Township, was flown to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center and was in critical condition there.

Also flown to Cleveland Metro were: Jesse S. Reising, 20, of Erie County's Berlin Township, near Berlin Heights; Jordan R. Whinnery, 21, of Sandusky. and his sister Jocelyn R. Whinnery, 16, of Berlin Heights. All three were in fair condition.

Taken by ground ambulance to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo was Elizabeth S. Schnable, 19, of Berlin Township. She was in serious condition.

Ms. Roberts was driving east on U.S. 6, about a mile east of Sandusky in Erie County's Huron Township, during a light rain when the car gradually went off the left side of the road, the patrol's Sandusky post said.

The car struck a utility pole, then hit a brick wall around a flower bed in front of the Melrose Motel at 3515 Cleveland-Sandusky Rd., which is U.S. 6, Patrol Sgt. Matt Majoy said.

The car was most severely damaged on the right side; Mr. Codispoti, who died, was riding on the right side in the rear seat, the patrol said.

Ms. Roberts and Mr. Reising, the front-seat occupants, both wore seat belts, the patrol said. It was not immediately clear if the four passengers in the back seat wore seat belts.

The patrol said that alcohol is considered a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

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