June 28, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Fatal crash victim served in Afghanistan

MEDINA — The 22-year-old man accused of causing the year’s first fatal car crash in Medina County is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Mateo Ralios Delacruz told police his name was Gilberto Ralios and his age was 20, said Lt. Bill Haymaker, commander of the patrol’s Medina post.

Mateo Ralios Delacruz

Chad Nelson

Ralios is accused of losing control of a stolen Ford Fusion while intoxicated on state Route 18 at 5:30 a.m. June 13. Haymaker said the vehicle crashed into a 1996 Chrysler LHS, injuring the driver and killing the passenger.

Haymaker said Ralios had a 0.123 blood-alcohol level at the time of crash. Ohio’s legal limit is 0.08.

The Ford Fusion was stolen from Montrose Ford, 3960 Medina Road, Copley Township, according to Ralios’ June 19 indictment.

Ralios, who did not have a driver’s license, was living in Fairlawn with family, Haymaker said.

Chad Nelson, 29, of Brunswick, died in the crash, and Eric Kaskevic, 34, of Strongsville, was injured. Kaskevic and Nelson were co-workers and carpooling to work.

Nelson, who recently moved from Columbus, was a truck driver for Fenix Fabrication in Akron.

Debra Nelson, Chad Nelson’s mother, said her son would be remembered for his sense of humor and talent in drawing.

“He had so many people who thought so much of him and loved him,” said Nelson, of Wheeling, W.Va. “He gave the tightest hugs.”

She said her son was a veteran of the U.S. Army, and he did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Debra Nelson said her son and his wife, Kristin Nelson, were in the middle of fixing up a house.

Chad Nelson was her youngest son. He has two brothers: Joey, 32, and Jamey, 31.

His funeral was June 19 at Waite & Son Funeral Home in Brunswick. He was buried June 20 at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.

Ralios was indicted on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and receiving a stolen motor vehicle.

If convicted, Ralios could spend more than 17 years in prison.

His arraignment Monday was postponed a week to find a Spanish translator because Ralios doesn’t read or speak English.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.