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Four men honored for bravery following April car crash

5/23/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

From left, Fairlawn Mayor William Roth, citizen John Krummrich, Copley Police Officer Joel Marmet, Fairlawn Police Officer Donald Duman, Fairlawn Police Sgt. Kenneth Slonaker and Fairlawn Police Chief Kenneth Walsh pose during the May 20 Fairlawn City Council meeting following the unanimous passage of a resolution commending Krummrich, Marmet, Duman and Slonaker “for their unselfish and heroic efforts in saving the lives of two young people.”
Photo: Sean Patrick
During the May 20 Fairlawn City Council meeting, a Copley police officer, two Fairlawn police officers and a citizen were honored for their actions following a major car crash in Fairlawn April 11.

Council unanimously passed a resolution recognizing and commending Fairlawn Sgt. Kenneth Slonaker, Fairlawn Officer Donald Duman, Copley Police Officer Joel Marmet and citizen John Krummrich for “their unselfish and heroic efforts in saving the lives of two young people.”

According to the resolution, the Fairlawn Police Department received a report April 11 of an erratic driver on West Market Street. A registration check revealed the vehicle was stolen, and following an attempt by Fairlawn police officers to stop the vehicle, the driver lost control and crashed into several vehicles parked at the Hilton Akron-Fairlawn. The car struck a tree, overturned, broke a utility pole and then caught fire. Slonaker and Duman proceeded to the burning vehicle, where they broke out a window and pulled out a 14-year-old female passenger.

In addition, Duman and Marmet located the driver, Jacob Mellinger, who had been ejected through the windshield and was wedged under a parked vehicle. They were pulling him out when Krummrich started to assist them. While assisting the officers, Krummrich received a low-voltage shock from one of the downed power lines. The three men were able to pull the severely injured driver to a safe location until the paramedics arrived.

Fairlawn Police Chief Kenneth Walsh lauded the four men for their brave actions that day.

“I think in our world today, people throw the word ‘brave’ around, and they use it loosely and attach it to some things that can’t compare to the things these four men did that day,” he said. “They responded, and I think it just came natural to all four of these men. They saw somebody in need and they immediately responded without any thought of their own safety. These are great men. I couldn’t be more honored to be associated with them.”

Council President Russ Sharnsky (at large) said the Fairlawn Fire Department also deserved recognition for the part it played in the incident.

“They secured that dangerous situation,” he said. “They prevented any further problems in that area. It was a pretty severe accident.”

According to Slonaker, Mellinger suffered a broken collarbone and “his femur was sticking out through his thigh.”

“He had surgery and was released from the hospital the following Monday and went to the county jail,” Slonaker said. “The young lady, the 14-year-old, had two fractured vertebrae in her back. One required surgery and the other they’re going to let heal. They’re both alive and that was the main thing.”

A police chase that ended with one of the cars catching fire at the parking lot of the Hilton Akron-Fairlawn closed West Market Street for several hours April 11.
Photo courtesy of Kristin Hendricks
[For more on the incident, see “Police chase ends in car fire in Fairlawn” in the April 18, 2013, edition or visit our archives at www.akron.com.]

Also during the meeting:

  • Council unanimously approved one ordinance that amends the city’s part-time season wage schedule, and another one that amends and/or supplements the city’s wage and salary plan.
    “The changes are mainly housekeeping changes,” Mayor William Roth said. “They are mainly for part-time positions. We had a couple of jobs that, through the years, the authorization was below the minimum wage, and so we made them current with the minimum wage of $7.85. And there were a couple of other positions that we just eliminated that we haven’t used in years, like an assistant tennis instructor.”
  • A bid from Liberta Construction for the city’s 2013 concrete slab replacement and storm water inlet repairs project was unanimously approved following a third reading.
    Liberta Construction’s bid of $150,000 was the lowest submitted bid among the five companies vying for the project.
  • Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to accept the bid of Tri Mor Corp. as the lowest bidder for the Smith Road improvement project.
    “We advertised for bids, which were opened on May 8. There were four companies that submitted bids,” Roth said. “The original engineer’s estimate was $220,000. The high bid was Liberta Construction for $211,000 … and the low bid was by Tri Mor Corp., and their bid was $174,080.”
  • Council unanimously approved an ordinance “authorizing and designating the city engineer to file an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission’s financial assistance programs for funding of a certain capital improvement through the state of Ohio’s local transportation improvements program and the state capital improvements program.”
    “We apply for this every year,” Roth explained. “One of our goals, if we get the funding, is to build a storm sewer on Smith Road to capture the storm water out of Bath and to divert the water around the city into a channel. This is basically to get funds to build that storm sewer.”
  • According to Roth, Fairlawn’s Memorial Day service is scheduled to take place at Bicentennial Park May 27 at 9 a.m. [see related story on Page 1].
  • Deputy Service Director Ernie Staten called May 18’s Bill Stalker Cleanup and Beautification Day “another success.”
    “We collected a total of 340 yards of debris,” he said. “I’d like to thank Bath and Copley for loaning us equipment to help us out for that day.”
  • A resolution proclaiming May 19-25 as “National Emergency Medical Service Week” in Fairlawn was unanimously passed by Council.
    “These individuals are there in our greatest time of need, when our neighbors, friends and family members are sick, injured and scared,” said Fairlawn Fire Chief Russ Hose. “I am very proud of the compassion and professional quality of care provided by all of the Fairlawn Fire Department EMS professionals.”

The next Fairlawn City Council meeting is set to take place June 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road.

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