Police: Minerva man charged in death of motorcycle passenger after crashing, fleeing on foot


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A 23-year-old man from Minerva is facing charges after wrecking a motorcycle and leaving his passenger for dead, according to police.

In the early hours of October 26, a New Franklin police officer spotted a motorcycle traveling south on Manchester Road at an excessive speed of 90mph in New Franklin (Summit County).

The officer initiated an attempt to stop the motorcycle on Manchester Road at Johns Road, but the driver, accompanied by a female passenger, chose to disregard the officer’s signal and fled westbound on Johns Road.

Realizing the pursuit would be unsafe, the officer discontinued the chase, continuing westbound on Johns until losing sight of the motorcycle.

Witnesses reported that the motorcycle continued westbound from Grove Road on Johns Road, maintaining a high rate of speed.

A short while later, the officer discovered the motorcycle crashed at the dead end of Johns Road.

The female passenger, identified as Roseann Mauk, 40, of Coventry Township was found in close proximity to the crash site and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Meanwhile, the motorcycle’s driver had fled on foot, seeking refuge in the nearby woods. Utilizing a drone, law enforcement authorities successfully located the driver, who was later apprehended. The suspect, identified as Brandt Saunders, 23, of Minerva, sustained non-life threatening injuries and was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

Saunders is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, according to New Franklin Police.

Preliminary investigations into the incident have revealed that the use of drugs and alcohol played a contributing role in the accident.

The authorities will continue their investigation to gather further evidence and determine the full extent of the circumstances surrounding this tragic event.