April 17, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
36°F

Granger Twp. teen admits to fatal crash that killed two

MEDINA — A Granger Township teenager admitted to charges Wednesday that stemmed from an April accident that killed two fellow Highland students.

Jonathan Slifka, 18, admitted in Medina County Juvenile Court to two counts of vehicular homicide, each a first-degree misdemeanor. Slifka acknowledged he drove above the speed limit on April 28, causing the death of 16-year-old Erin Ehrbar and her 13-year-old brother, Andrew.

Flowers sit near the site on Wilbur Road where a two-car crash killed Erin and Andrew Ehrbar in April. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Flowers sit near the site on Wilbur Road where a two-car crash killed Erin and Andrew Ehrbar in April. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Based on his admission, Juvenile Judge John J. Lohn found Slifka a delinquent juvenile. Slifka could be sentenced to 90 days in a juvenile detention center for each of the two counts to which he admitted. His disposition hearing is set for Feb. 24.

Prosecutors agreed to drop two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular manslaughter and one count of possession of marijuana.

Juveniles admit to or deny charges. They do not plead guilty or not guilty.

Chris Tunnell, one of two Richland County assistant prosecutors assigned to the case, said there were traces of marijuana found in Slifka’s system after the crash. He said that means Slifka could have ingested the drug any time in the 30 days before the accident.

“There’s no allegation he was impaired” at the time of the accident, Tunnell said.

“We all acknowledge it was a very difficult time for all families, and I can assure you Mr. Slifka has taken this with all seriousness and feels very sorry for the Ehrbar family,” Slifka’s attorney Donald Varian said after Wednesday’s hearing.

Laura Ehrbar, mother of Andrew and Erin, cried during the hearing. She was accompanied by her husband, Chris DePiero, and his brother, Parma Mayor Dean DePiero.

Slifka

Slifka

“We’re comfortable with this resolution,” Dean DePiero said. “We’re going to allow the legal process to play out. It’s the family’s hope that something good will come out of this.”

On her way to school the morning of April 28, Erin Ehrbar was attempting to pull out of her driveway on Wilbur Road when her car was hit by a vehicle driven by Slifka, then 17, who was westbound on Wilbur.

Slifka’s vehicle struck the driver’s side of Ehrbar’s Pontiac Sunfire, pushing it to the other side of the road. Erin was pronounced dead shortly after the accident, and Andrew, a passenger in her car, died at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center the following day.

The Ohio Highway Patrol found both Slifka and Erin Ehrbar at fault in the accident. The patrol’s crash report says sun glare and a dip in the road may have obstructed Erin’s view as she attempted to exit her driveway.

The patrol also found that Slifka was driving between 61 and 71 mph. The speed limit for that section of Wilbur Road is 50 mph with a posted suggested speed of 30 mph because of hidden driveways in the area.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.

  • heather5

    Wow! This just shows that you really CAN get away with murder!

  • kellyjfinch

    You’re obtuse if you believe he committed murder. Here are some definitions for you;

    Murder:
    The killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).

    Malice Aforethought:
    The predetermination to do an unlawful act, esp to kill or seriously injure.

    Predetermination:
    To determine, decide, or establish in advance.

    Premeditation:
    The contemplation of a crime well enough in advance to show deliberate intent to commit the crime; forethought.

    Obtuse:
    Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity.

  • rooster

    The speed limit was 50 mph at that location when this accident happened. Given the lay of the land, it was and still is an accident waiting to happen. That is ridiculous. Because of the rolling hills in and around Medina, there are many places like this. This one just happens to be particularly bad. Anyone pulling out of that driveway would have difficulty seeing a westbound vehicle. Anyone traveling west bound would have difficulty seeing someone pulling out of a driveway just beyong the crest of the hill. After the accident a yellow sign indicating the speed limit is 30 mph up ahead was placed about 30-40 yards after the 50 mph sign. If Slifka was going 61 mph at the time, he was only going 11 mph over the speed limit. Many cops would let you go, especially if conditions are good and no one is around. This is an easy thing to do on back country roads. They should remove the 50 mph sign and make the speed limit 25 mph there until you get beyond the crest of that hill.

    If Calgary drives I’d bet she has exceeded the speed limit at some time in her life. Most people do. If she has not, then she is an extraordinary person.

    Would Slifka have been charged with anything if he was going exactly 50 mph? Who knows? I am sure the proescutor would have dreamed something up. The sad fact is that the speed limit on that road contributed to that accident and that falls squarely on the lap of the authorities. And they still have not removed the 50 mph sign.

    Slifka may have been negligent but he is not a murderer as implied by Calgary’s comment. What she wrote is stupid nonesense from someone who probbaly did not even take the time to examine the area where the accident occurred and attempt to formulate logical reasons for what happened. As far as I am concerned the speed limit was as much to blame as anything. I was actually shocked at the 50 mph speed limit after examining the area. Go and see it for yourself.

    Slifka will pay for this for the rest of his life. He will probably think about it until the day he dies and I feel very sorry for both the victims’ family and Slifka.

  • truth4life

    Ok, so let’s take a look at reasoning here, before we get into specifics.

    Finch, I understand why you posted your definitions about murder; good job on googling.

    Predetermination:
    Did he decide to use drugs, yes, he did.
    Was someone else in the car making him speed, nope, looks like that was another decision he made.

    I just hope you realize he made the decision to put others at risk.

    Driving in a car without a working speedometer… I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for that. The car should never have been on the road let alone in a young driver’s hands. His parents failed him by letting him drive that vehicle. So if you want, you can claim the speedometer wasn’t his fault.

    Though by definition (which I know you like) the driver is fully responsible for the proper functionality of his/her vehicle.

    Roos, your response was comical. You insult Calgary and then rant about the scene of the accident and claim the speed limit is to blame. Calgary was blunt and I feel probably trolling for a response, which you and Finch couldn’t resist.

    But the worst part is, you think that since others speed, it is ok that Slifka was speeding? Because it was a back country road it is ok that people speed? Because others speed that makes it alright that Slifka speed?

    Can I steal $2 of gas because others do? It’s just $2, it’s just 11 mph, it’s just….

    Country roads are the WORST area to speed because there are countless intersections similar to the one included in this crime. If you want to think that speeding on these roads is common, then you are part of the problem. Regardless of your claims to make this stretch of road 25mph, not every bad area can be made 25 mph. I also find it funny you mention the sign warning a 30 mph zone ahead, but didn’t mention the sign suggesting 30 mph through the crash zone. Those signs aren’t just there to waste tax payers money.

    I have driven that stretch of road for the past 20 years and I know it is not a safe area, as do countless other residents that live in that area. The fact it is not a safe area does not give anyone the excuse to drive out of control, as you are implying.

    If you would really like to investigate something, go do some research on car accidents, look into how they rate accidents to the mph the vehicles are traveling. I doubt you even realize the difference between a 50 mph and 55 mph accident, let alone 60mph+. Be sure to look up accidents in the 10 – 50 range…should shed some light on how fast 60 mph+ really is in an accident.

    The whole “he has to live with it the rest of his life” crap gets old really fast. Lots of people hide behind this excuse, as you clearly did, Roos. I’m not going to tell you to step back and imagine if you were the Erhbar’s mother, because no one can imagine that pain, nor understand it.

    This is a situation no one should ever think of, yet Ms. Ehrbar has to live with it the rest of her life. She didn’t avoid jail for murdering 2 innocent teens, yet her punishment is she has to live with this loss the rest of her life. So does it really make sense that Slifka gets the same punishment as Ms. Ehrbar plus a couple of months in juvenile?

    As a final note, I suggest you all look into Facebook, do some research on the type of person Jon is. If you had seen his comments on days he had to go to court or some of his feelings about the accident, I doubt you would sit here and defend him so blindly. This is not an attack on Jon, but simply a clear way to see that he does not comprehend this situation and may not understand the damage he has done.

  • kellyjfinch

    NOTAFRAIDTOSPEAKTHETRUTH,
    You are not correct on some of your information. Hopefully my explanation will not be as sarcastic as yours.
    First, I never attempted to “blindly defend” this youth. I was simply explaining that it was not murder.
    Second, this youth was NOT under the influence at the time of this accident. To claim he put others at risk because of using drugs is inappropriate.
    Third, Claiming his parents dropped the ball in allowing him to drive a vehicle without a working speedometer, is inappropriate as well. Maybe this youth didn’t inform his parents it was inoperable. Maybe it would work sometimes and not others and it was mistaken during a working time as fixed.
    However, I agree with you about the driver of a vehicle being responsible for it’s functioning. On that note I will state that there is no one that knows everything. Maybe this youth was a little undereducated on the working of this vehicle, but who do you blame for that, his parents, drivers education, or the DMV?
    I also agree with you about him not comprehending this entire situation, At his age his frontal lobe (part of his brain responsible for eliciting emotions and rationalization) is not fully developed. As time goes by this will be a more difficult thing for him to deal with. Once he is fully capable of comprehending this situation it will be as raw as it was the day it happened. Oh yeah and by the way, that information was not brought to you by googling. Amazing that some of us may be educated and not need to look it up, isn’t it?
    I want to make it clear that; Although Mr. Roos is entitled to his opinions, it doesn’t mean I agree with them. I don’t agree with all of yours either. But you know what they say about opinions, they are like @$$#@!&$, everybody has one and most of them stink.

  • truth4life

    Google all the definitions you would like ( or use Bing, whichever cookie tracking giant you prefer ) I clearly showed why this crime can definitely be labeled as murder, yet you still want to claim it was not murder.

    Secondly drugs were in his body, tests showed that. Not sure why you think its inappropriate to mention that, but It’s a fact.

    Third I feel as if you don’t want anyone to take responsibility for what has happened here. If a turn signal is out, yes that is fairly hard to notice , but driving a vehicle without a working speedometer is not. There is no excuse for this, that vehicle should not have been on the road. His Parents are just as much to blame as he is for letting that vehicle on the road, but apparently its inappropriate for them to take responsibility for this.

    Your rant about frontal lobe, while interesting. is one of those opinions that you described at the end of your statement. It saddens me to see a “some day he will get it” attitude applied to this horrible accident. Ms. Erhbar doesn’t have that luxury.

    Oh and just one last thing, you may want to start copyrighting your definitions, it appears people are stealing them

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/murder

  • rooster

    Response to NOTAFRAIDTOSPEAKTHETRUTH

    First, I would like to say my response to Calgary’s comment was in no way meant to be comical. I just meant to point out that some individuals make ridiculous comments without any thought to what they are saying. The man (Slifka) did not get away with murder because he did not commit murder. As far as I am concerned she should not even be part of this conversation.

    Second, where did I say that it was OK for Slifka to speed since others do it and that it is OK to do it on back country roads? I am merely pointing out that it is an easy thing for people to loose track of how fast they are actuclly going when no one else is on the road. I admit it happens to me and I slow down. Can you honestly say you never caught yourself going over the speed limit and then slowed down? If you do then I would bet you are not being very honest. If it is the truth then you are an exceptional person.

    What I tried do do after the accident was to look at the scene and try to figure out what environmental factors may have contributed to the accident. Note the report said both drivers shared some responsibility for what happened. And then there is the dip in the road and the crest of the hill and the very close proximity of the Ehrbar drivway to it. There is no single cause. And don’t respond by saying now I am trying to blame the victim because I am not. My motivation is simply to try to understand why this happened. As the report said, sun glare may have contributed to this as much as anything else.

    Perhaps my memory is not serving me correctly but I do not recall the 30 mph sign being there immediately after the accident. I think it went up after the accident. If this isn’t true then I stand corrected. It is still wrong for a 30 mph sign to be posted about 30 yards beyond a 50 mph sign. I never could understand why the authorities do that sort of thing. And I am not saying the speed limit is the sole reason for the accident. I said it was as much to blame as anything. There were many reasons why this happened, with the speed limit being one contributing factor.

    Also, why can’t they make every bad area like this be 25 mph? Maybe it would save some lives. They put up the 30 mph signs ridiculously close to the 50 mph signs. Maybe if the speed limit was 25 Slifka would have only been going 35 mph instead of 61 mph. Maybe Erin would have had time to react and the sun glare wouldn’t have mattered. Maybe inexperience had something to do with it too. This is the point I am making. Multiple contributing factors. And you probably will not like what I am about to say, but there is no way my 12 year old will independently drive a car to school when he is 16. Nope. Not, even close to negotiable. He will not be doing that until gets and drives a car when he is old enough to do so on his own.

    My comment about Slifka paying for this for the rest of his life was not meant to be equated with the loss the Ehrbar family has had to deal with. I do feel very badly for them. I don’t even know these people but I cried when I drove by their house. The comment was simply meant to indicate that he did not get away with murder and that he may also be haunted by this for a very long time. He may not understand it or regret it that much now, but give him 10 or 15 years to think about it.

    And, as an aside, why is it wrong to show forgiveness and compassion for everyone involved in a tragedy like this? Why can’t I feel sorry for both Slifka and the Ehrbars without you accusing me of defending someone?

  • kellyjfinch

    Notafraidtospeakthetruth,

    Your comment comes off as angry, if that is the case, I apologize for angering you. My intention was not to anger anyone, just to point out a few facts.
    I never said it was inappropriate to mention he had drugs in his system. Stating the drugs in his system had something to do with this situation was inappropriate. It clearly states he had drugs in his system from some point earlier and that he was not under the influence at the time of the accident. Clearly you do not come from a medical background, and I do not mean that as insulting. I only state that because you are not educated to understand how blood, urine, or hair sample results should be interpreted. I will try to simplify it for you. Some materials once ingested show up quickly and are gone quickly. If you were to go out and have a few beers, that night they would show up in tests and for the most part be gone by the next day. Other materials if ingested today, and causing the effects ONLY today, can still show up in your system 14-30 days later. Showing up as trace amounts is equivalent to that. If their were any substances involved it would not be noted as trace amount. So if you were to go out tonight, have six beers, then get in an accident 21 days later (never having any other alcohol in between). How would you feel if someone claimed your alcohol consumption was the cause? Now don’t get me wrong, I do not support his use of drugs, I am only stating they were not involved in the cause of this accident.
    ” I feel as if you don’t want anyone to take responsibility for what has happened here”
    Quite frankly I really don’t care how you THINK I feel. However, I will tell you that your feelings are wrong. I never said I didn’t want someone to take responsibility. I am only stating that there are many factors at play here and that maybe we don’t know the entire situation. So maybe we shouldn’t hang him by a judge and jury of our own opinions. The same thing could have happened if he were traveling at the correct speed verified by a working speedometer. This is called an accident, it can happen to anyone at any time under any circumstance driving any speed. I am pretty sure when he left his house that morning his first objective wasn’t to get into an accident.
    “Your rant about frontal lobe, while interesting. is one of those opinions that you described at the end of your statement.” Again I will state how you clearly do not have a background in medicine. This is not an opinion, it is a proven fact. If you would like, I know a few psychologists who would be happy to explain this to you. But then again I don’t know why I even bothered with any explanation. I am sure you will contort and misconstrue them into something you FEEL they are, and not the truth.

    I don’t care how you or anyone else thinks I should feel. I am with Mr. Roos on this one, I feel bad for both families. This is something they will carry for the rest of their lives. I just hope they all can find peace with it and possibly find a way to make something positive out of it, in the end.

  • truth4life

    Finch, its so fun reading your responses!

    “To claim he put others at risk because of using drugs is
    inappropriate.” – Finch

    So you did state it was inappropriate.

    For someone so focused on facts you sure like to bring up a lot of “ifs” in order to claim you want people to take responsibility. Facts are he was speeding, speedometer wasn’t working, and drugs were in his system. Can’t change those facts, no matter how many “ifs” or definitions you add.

    Also, the whole point of the marijuana in this situation is to show that he doesn’t make good nor legal decisions.

    Lets talk about Truth now, Truth is you can’t seem to comprehend how his actions showed intent. By your copied definition vehicular manslaughter could not exist, but that is not the case, move on from the word for
    word definition you copied.

    I’m not sure why you keep having to declare or prove your intelligence, but after your clear google, copy, paste first statement, none of it can be taken seriously due to your previous lying.

    I’m not going into your frontal lobe rant again, I can get a few psychologists to laugh with me when someone tries to define when a specific individual will develop emotionally.

    Also, please don’t dodge my last statement. You clearly copied all of those definitions that you claimed as your own.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/malice+aforethought

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/premeditation

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/obtuse

    Grammatically identical.

  • holmessph

    I actually had a car with a speedometer that didn’t work sometimes. Bought it at an auction because I was 17 and my family didn’t have money. I paid for the car my self (whopping $950) and other than the speedometer it was in great condition.

    The speedometer sometimes worked and then poof, nothing. but I found it fairly easy to keep the speed limit even with no cars around.

    I even had CD’s that I mixed on my computer where the beat of the songs if matched up with the dashed lines in the road would put me close to the speed limit. Some songs for 55, some for 65, etc.. yeah I’m a math nerd..

    But lets face it, not everyone is blessed with parents, even further parents with money they can put into your vehicle.. Some of us as teenagers had things because we worked hard for them and paid for them ourselves and didn’t want to spend another $500 to have a mechanic go in and rip you off … Depending on the car speedometers can be very expensive to fix as I found out. Some are simple.

    Give the kid a break, accidents are just that, accidents… This situation wasn’t malicious in anyway.. Accidents are sad, both sides loose in this situation, no one was entirely at fault and this guy will have to deal with this mentally his entire life. If he had been going 80 MPH, or txt’ing and driving or something extremely negligent I could understand all of the accusation on previously posts but had there been any, he would have been put behind bars for a long time. Our justice system did good this time, can’t say it will next time.

  • rooster

    Reply to NotAfraidTo SpeakTheTruth

    You appear to be an angry person and you certainly sound like you have an ax to grind. You sound like you are very close to the family or perhaps even a family member. If so, I feel sorry for your loss. However, it appears your emotions are getting the better of you. And that is understandable.

    It appears you are not going to give up on this whole idea that Slifka committed some form of murder, premeditated or otherwise. Why don’t you tell the truth (since you are known by the name NotAfraidToSpeakTheTruth) and admit you want that kid to fry or at least hang from the highest pole in Medina and you are just upset that it isn’t going to happen?

    I also suggest you take a look at the Ohio Revised Code and read the definitions for murder, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, etc. since it is more authoritative than the dictionary. The definitions are too lengthy to repeat here. I admit up front to you I read them and they are not my definitions. They are from the State of Ohio. I believe he was correctly charged based on the definitions you will find there and the circumstances surrounding this accident.

    Also, keep in mind he was a juvenile when this happened and we have separate systems for juveniles and adults. There is a reason for that. Juveniles are not mature adults and quite often really don’t understand things like adults do, or at least should. This supports Finch’s claims. You yourself said he doesn’t comprehend what he did and doesn’t understand the damage he did. And you, sir or madam (since you won’t identify yourself), are one of the reasons why we have a judicial system with laws on the books and procedures for trying and sentencing people who commit crimes. We don’t leave it to family members or friends of the victims to try people and mete out the punishment they see fit.

    Also, get off Finch’s case. At least she is using reason to try to understand the situation and is not driven by emotion and the desire for revenge (as you seem to be). And big deal, her definitions might be from the dictionary. That is what the dictionary is for. At least she is using it and not making the stuff up.

  • itsonlymyopinion

    Reading everyone’s comments has been very entertaining. It all started with a simple statement. Someone’s opinion. That’s what this forum is all about. And in the very next letter the name calling started. Why? This could all go back and forth forever. Apparently there is a wide variety of opinion about this case but that doesn’t make anyone more or less intelligent and where their educational background lies doesn’t really have anything to do with what happened to the Ehrbar children, i.e. a medical background. After all, dead IS dead.

    Here’s what I know: Slifka was speeding; by quite a large amount, be it 10 to 20 mph. I drive this road five days a week and to be inside the school zone heading toward the accident site you would have had to either a) be going way over the 20 mph in the school zone or b) really speed up quickly to get to that speed in the distance out of the school zone to the driveway. In either case, speeding is against the law! Doesn’t matter if it’s 1 mph or 100 mph, it’s not legal.

    Secondly; If the marijuana in his system “doesn’t count” then why did they do the test? Last I checked marijuana was an illegal substance (except in medical situations) which also makes it against the law. So why is it ok that it was only in his system but nobody knows for how long? Did the test prove the length of time since he’d last smoked it? And does that matter? Could he have still been high?

    Third: When you get a drivers license you are making a contract with the state that you will abide by their laws and conditions. Some of those conditions include making sure that your vehicle is in good working order. Others are that you will follow the rules of the road. Did he do that?

    And lastly everyone seems to feel strongly that all of this should be forgiven and we are a kinder, gentler community by doing so, because he was a juvenile at the time of the accident. He’s a juvenile with a contract with the state of Ohio. He’s a juvenile who breaks the law in other aspects of his life. And from what he posts on Facebook, he has little to no remorse for his actions and for all of this we are supposed to forgive him? How about this. How about instead of him hanging from the highest pole in Medina (yes, I admit that would be good) he just do community service. Say 10 hrs a week? And he only has to do this until the day that Mrs. Ehrbar comes to him and says that she no longer thinks about her children. Would THAT be too stiff a penalty for him?

  • artemis

    The sheriff’s investigation found that there was no question that Erin would still have been killed had Slifka been driving 10 miles slower. The only issue was if Andrew would have had a chance.

    Because at some point in the prior 30 days Slifka had smoked pot – even though investigators and prosecutor alike clearly stated he was not under the influence the morning of the accident – they were able to use that to file “aggravated vehicular homicide charges”. Those felony charges took the case to a whole different level and essentially forced the plea bargain. Frankly, I think that is a misjustice right there. As someone else stated earlier, imagine being in an accident and having them hold against you that you got drunk one night two weeks earlier!

    This was a tragic accident for all involved, but it was an accident, not murder, and had Erin lived she would have been cited for failure to yield while Jonathan probably wouldn’t have even gotten a ticket.

  • meike110

    NotafraidToSpeakTheTruth,

    Let me ask you a few hypothetical questions. It appears you like them.

    What if, instead of Slifka hitting the car, he swerved, and, in the process of avoiding them, hit a tree and died? Would the Ehrbar’s now be murderers? According to your logic, they chose to pull out in front of him. It was their choice to back out of their driveway. Or perhaps it was the parents fault, I mean, they chose to allow their two children in the car.

    How about another one? What if someone fails to stop, for any amount of reasons, at a red light, and they get hit by oncoming traffic. If the driver of said car is killed, did they just commit suicide? If the person in the car who hit them died, would the person who failed to stop be considered a murderer? What if the person who hit them was speeding, are they still a murderer?

    Now, you keep bringing up his marijuana use, but why? The tests said he had marijuana in his system sometime in the last month. Hmm, I’m assuming that sometime between when the munchies disappear and the next 30 days it is no longer affecting you; to think anything different is foolish and ignorant.

    What if you take a Nyquil before you go to sleep? In the morning, when the drug is still in your system, you drive to work. . .is your judgment impaired then? What about a week later? Looks like we have a bunch of people walking (or should we say driving, so as not to upset your liking of disputing wording over concepts) around impaired by a drug, because let’s face it, within the past month most people will have taken some sort of drug. He may or may not have been high, but we have no way of proving such, and therefore is a moot point.

    I could go on and on, but why? It’s clear you have no logical basis for your reasoning, and your arguments are only causing you to look like an ignorant imbecile (or maybe I should use the word “obtuse” since Finch has already defined it for you).

    Lastly, NotafraidToSpeakTheTruth, if you’re ‘not so afraid to speak the truth,’ then why aren’t you using your real name?

  • heather5

    Slifka’s brain may not have been fully developed, as Dr. Finch pointed out, but that does not mean he should not be held accountable for his actions. I’m sure he did not wake up that morning thinking, “Wow! Today would be a great day to kill two people!” but the second he got behind the wheel of his car, he should be aware of the fact that he is responsible for controlling his vehicle. Responsible people take this matter very seriously; clearly, Slifka is not a responsible person. Exceeding the speed limit is a risk most people are willing to make at least once in their lifetime, but just because most people speed does not make it okay. Instead of pointing fingers at one another saying, “Oh, well I’m sure she has exceeded the speed limit before, so who is she to place blame on Slifka?” we should consider ourselves lucky that we never killed or seriously injured someone while we were speeding. Speeding is speeding, so it doesn’t really matter how much we have exceeded the speed limit, but going 61-71 mph on Wilbur Road is just reckless.

    Responsible drivers not only obey the speed limit, but they also drive at a speed that is safe, as dictated by the road conditions, the terrain, etc. Going 11 mph over the speed limit on this road would be “easy” only if you were on a closed course, i.e. not at all cautious about pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, other motorists, etc. on the roadway. Itsonlymyopinion is correct by saying that Slifka would have had to either be speeding in the school zone or accelerating rather quickly to get up to 61-71 mph at the point of the collision. Additionally, responsible drivers actually slow down at the crest of a hill, and they certainly do not go at least 11 over the speed limit when they are going over the hill. The fact that Slifka’s speedometer was not working lends even more credibility to the idea that he was not driving responsibly. If it had not been working the last time he drove it, then he should not have been driving the car again without fixing it, and if it just quit working in the short distance from his house to the scene of the accident, then he should have been going a lot under 61 mph because any conscientious driver would be able to feel how unsafe it is to be going that fast on that stretch of road.

    The point of bringing up the marijuana in this discussion is to show that Slifka had previously exhibited illegal behavior and made poor decisions; it shows that he has no regard for the law or for doing what’s right. Bringing up Nyquil or alcohol is beside the point. These are legal drugs, and yes, if you are under the influence of Nyquil and you kill someone in an accident, then that could be used against you.

    Like anyone else, obviously neither Erin nor Jon was hoping to get into an accident. The intent of most drivers is to avoid and prevent accidents, and we do this by driving safely. At the very least, we drive defensively, we follow all laws, we make the best possible decisions, and we hope that our fellow drivers do the same. By operating a vehicle without a fully-functioning speedometer, exceeding the speed limit, and driving at a reckless speed, Slifka was clearly not doing everything in his power to avoid an accident or to lessen the severity of a possible accident.

    Oh, and I’m not quite sure why a few of you are criticizing NotAfraidToSpeakTheTruth’s username. The internet is inherently anonymous; some people choose to use an obviously fake name, while others choose to imitate more realistic ones (and many people choose to use their real name). “Gary Roos” and “Sarah Melton” is just as ambiguous and even deceptive as “NotAfraidToSpeakTheTruth.”

  • artemis

    The point of bringing up the marijuana in this discussion is to show that Slifka had previously exhibited illegal behavior and made poor decisions; it shows that he has no regard for the law or for doing what’s right.

    Exactly…. it’s an attempt to put his character on trial. What bearing does that have on the cause of the accident? (And incidentally, I don’t think that the fact he tried pot or occasionally exceeded the speed limit makes him such a bad person.)

    As for questions about the school zone… was that on yet at the time of the accident? May have been, but perhaps not. Jonathan was on his way to pick up a friend before school. Erin and Andrew were heading to school.

    The most significant factor in this whole thing is that Erin was blinded looking into the sun and pulled out in front of Jonathan.

  • rooster

    Reply to Heather Calgary

    I want to say that my opinions are my own, I am a man of my word, and I have no reason to hide behind anonymity when expressing them. If I believed I had to be anonymous to express them, then they wouldn’t be worth expressing.

    I am assuming you are really Heather Calgary. If so, then I applaud you for being a person of your word and standing by what you say.

    After reading your latest comment, you appear to be more intelligent than I thought after reading your first comment which started this whole discussion.

    Please answer my questions.

    Do you really think Slifka got away with murder? If so, then why? Given the definitions in the Ohio Revised Code, I do not think so.

    Do you think this will haunt him for the rest of his life? I think it will. I believe that most people are not so evil that they would dismiss this and never consider it again.

    Do you think the speed limit should be 50 mph in that area on Wilbur Road? I don’t think so. I drove by there again today and someone pulling out of that driveway cannot see the road over the crest of the hill and down toward the cemetery and the schools in the distance. If that was my house I’d be afraid of pulling out of the driveway every time I did it.

    Was the 30 mph sign there before the accident? I do not recall. I believe it went up shortly after the accident but I admit I may be wrong. Do you know the answer? Can someone definitively answer this question?

    Although you don’t come right out and admit it, you seem to imply that you have exceeded the speed limit at least once in your life. Have you exceeded the speed limit at some point in your life? Or are you that rare and execptional person who is perfect? Just like Slifka, we are all humans and we all make mistakes. For him, something that would be a minor infraction on any other day just happened to turn deadly serious.

    Do you really think Slifka’s marijuana use many days prior (based on an analysis that found “trace” amounts) to the accident contributed to the accident? I don’t think so.

    When this happened, I thought that if this kid was going even 1 mile over the speed limit he is in big trouble since someone has to take the blame for a tragedy like this. What if Slifka was going exactly 50 mph? Should he still be held accountable? To me the answer depends on whether the 30 mph sign was there at the time of the accident.

    What role did Erin Ehrbar play in all of this? It sure seems like she failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle. It seems the only innocent person was her brother. At least that is what we assume. Lets see, she was 16 and he was 13. Knowing how brothers and sisters interact, is it possible he somehow distracted her as she was beginning to pull out of the driveway? This is an unknown and I will just assume he didn’t. Either way she pulled out in front of Slifka.

    I drive between Akron and Medina just about every work day and it seems to me that most people who speed do not go more than 10 mph over the speed limit. If the speed limit was 25 mph at these limited sight distance areas on the back country roads would the Ehrbar children still be alive today? Using my assumptions they would have been struck by a vehicle going 35 mph. They may have been badly injured but I think they would have lived.

    I still think the speed limit played a major role in this accident. Just when you get out of the school zone there is a sign that says 50 mph. Then up the road past the cemetery there is another sign that says 50 mph. About 20-30 yards beyond that is the sign that says 30 mph. Then there is the beginning of the hill, the crest of the hill, and then the driveway. Even if you slow down to 30 mph I think you could easily hit someone who is just pulling out of that driveway. It is a very bad mix. That is why we call things like this accidents. Many factors coming together at one point in time to result in a bad outcome. Reducing the speed limit (and I don’t men placement of yellow signs, I mean the white speed limit signs) is one factor we can control. Whether people obey it is another issue.