Driver arrested after chase ends in crash in Austintown, investigators say

Local News

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Drivers on Route 11 and I-680 got a little more than they bargained for on their Thursday afternoon drive after a chase ended in a crash involving multiple cars.

The suspect in a chase Thursday afternoon crashed a vehicle on Interstate 680 near the Meridian Road exit, where investigators took him into custody.

At 2 p.m., two Highway Patrol troopers were sitting along Route 11 when they were approached by a person who reported that the driver hit a guardrail and kept going.

The troopers attempted a traffic stop.

The release said the driver, later identified as Daniel Dicks, 41, of Warren, fled and a pursuit was initiated.

Police also said that Dicks traveled at speeds over 100 mph as he made his way from Route 11 north in Columbiana County and tried to get off at the US-224 exit, attempting to back down an embankment to avoid police, investigators said.

Youngstown State’s Vinny Gentile was one of the drivers on Route 11 during the chase that started on 11 northbound near the Coumbiana, Mahoning county line.

“I didn’t even see him coming up behind me, and then I happened to look up in my rearview mirror and there he was behind me in the left lane next to me. Then, I pulled over to the side a little bit, but he was even in the middle of the road, so it was close,” Gentile said.

According to a release, Dicks hit a vehicle on SR 11, causing moderate damage in Austintown Township and avoided a tire deflation device placed by the Austintown Twp. Police Department at Mahoning Ave.

Investigators say Dicks then hit another car on Interstate 680 southbound and kept going, hitting another car before crashing into a ditch near the Meridian Road exit.

The driver then jumped out of the vehicle but was apprehended by police.

“Struck another vehicle. Thankfully no one was injured, just damage to the cars. Spun off into a ditch. He attempted to run from the scene and was apprehended,” said Sgt. Eric Brown of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Police say Dicks was charged with fleeing, OVI and traffic violations. He was incarcerated at the Mahoning County Jail.

Dicks has an extensive history with the law — 26 prior arrests with 68 charges filed — the majority of which are drug offenses, which police say is at the center of this chase.

“Turned out this guy was impaired. He was drug impaired. According to him and his female passenger, his girlfriend, they checked themselves out of a drug rehab facility in Columbiana County. So whether they used some sort of narcotics after leaving that facility, I don’t know, but he was given a field sobriety test and was definitely impaired,” Brown said.

Dicks’ female passenger, Nicole Libertino, 41 of Cortland, was charged with wrongful entrustment for letting an impaired and suspended driver drive her vehicle, the release said.

No injuries were sustained as a result of these two crashes.

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