Salem family says justice was not served in man’s hit-and-run death

Local News

Nicholas Crookston's wife and son wonder how three years in jail for hitting a man with a car and leaving him to die is fair

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – A Salem woman who lost her husband in a hit-and-run accident says a three-year sentence is not long enough for his killer.

In October 2018, 30-year-old Nicholas Crookston was hit by a passing car on Old Route 344 near State Route 558 in Salem Township.

“He was my best friend,” said Thomas Crookston, Nicholas’ son. “He was everything I pushed for.”

Nicholas Crookston’s obituary

Although the man who hit him is now in jail, Nicholas’ wife and son feel justice was not served.

“It’s not like you just hit an animal or, you know, a deer or something like he claimed he thought he did. You killed a person,” Bobbi Crookston said.

Dale Dennison, 29, of West Salem, was convicted of vehicular homicide, failure to stop after an accident and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to three years in jail.

“How can he go for three years away and he took my dad from seeing me graduate, from seeing me grow up, from seeing his grandchildren, everything?” Thomas said.

According to records, at the time of the accident, Dennison hit Crookston with his Jeep and left. Pieces of debris were found at the scene, which were later matched to Dennison’s car.

Bobbi said she can’t imagine how a driver could hit a person and just leave them there.

“How can a person do that? You know, just leave somebody like that? It just blows my mind. It was shocking, devastating.”

Thomas said he has fond memories of his father and wishes he were still here.

“Every time I wanted to throw a football or go do anything, he’d be like, ‘Alright, let’s go do it.'”

Although the court process is over, Bobbi and Thomas said they will never be able to get past the loss of Nicholas.

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