BOSTON HEIGHTS — A Dec. 10 trial in Stow Municipal Court has been set for a Hudson man in connection with a crash that killed a Stow man while he was riding a bicycle on Route 303 in September.
According to court records, Gregory F. Kostelnik, 58, pleaded not guilty to second-degree misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and minor misdemeanor assured clear distance ahead on Sept. 17 and was freed on a personal bond. His attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment for this story.
According to a crash report, 65-year-old Nick O’Donnell was riding his bicycle eastbound on Route 303, just east of Happy Days Lodge, when he was struck from behind by Kostelnik driving a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck at about 7:45 a.m. Sept. 16. Valley Fire District EMS took O’Donnell to Akron City Hospital, but he died.
Police said Kostelnik told them that his vision was obstructed by both sun glare and his windshield fogging up. He reached over to turn on the defroster when he struck O’Donnell.
Police estimated that Kostelnik was traveling at the posted speed limit of 50 mph and alcohol and drugs are not suspected.
Boston Heights Police Chief Ray Heatwall said Monday that O’Donnell was riding his bike in the road when he was struck. Heatwall, however, said that Kostelnik was charged because state law requires drivers to stop if their vision is obscured.
"He should have pulled off to the side of the roadway, just as if it was raining really hard or snowing really hard," said Heatwall.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.