HUDSON, Ohio – The City of Hudson is keeping secret the details of a Nov. 7 crash in which a car fatally struck a child on a bicycle, declining requests from cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer to release any related records and refusing to identify the driver.
As recently as Tuesday, 10 days after the crash, city spokeswoman Jody Roberts told cleveland.com that an accident report was not available, citing an ongoing investigation by city police and the Summit County Metro Crash Unit.
Roberts did not return a follow-up message in which cleveland.com noted that Ohio public records laws dictate that routine documents, such as accident reports, should be made public upon request, even if an investigation is pending.
It’s unclear what is motivating the secrecy.
To date, the city has issued one release, on Nov. 9, when Police Chief Terry Tabak stated that the crash had occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, on Streetsboro Street (Ohio 303) between Library and Main streets. The chief also reported that the accident involved an unspecified vehicle driven by a 60-year-old woman, who had not been charged.
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as 7-year-old Vincent Baran, who died at Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg.
In response to questions posed later by cleveland.com, Roberts later said the city’s police department routinely receives assistance from the Summit County Metro Crash Unit when investigating fatal crashes.
The crash has garnered widespread attention in Hudson, with about 2,000 to 3,000 people gathering a week after the crash to hold balloons and signs to celebrate Vincent’s life during his funeral, according to the Record-Courier.