Murder charges filed against driver who hit, killed student in wrong-way crash

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BROOKLYN, Ohio -- Murder charges have been filed against a man police say hit and killed a 20-year-old student during his own suicide attempt.

Mark Rafter, 48, of Brooklyn, was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault and aggravated vehicular homicide.

Kayla Coates (Photo courtesy: Brooklyn police)

Kayla Coates (Photo courtesy: Brooklyn police)

Police say Rafter was driving the wrong way on Interstate 480 the morning of Feb. 14 when he hit the car driven by Kayla Coates.

Coates' Ford Fiesta sustained heavy damage on the driver’s side while Rafter’s track was overturned. Coates, a student at Balwin Wallace College who was driving to work, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rafter was seriously injured and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center. He remains in the surgical intensive care unit, according to police.

According to a press release, the investigation into the accident revealed that it was a deliberate act by Rafter in an "apparent suicide attempt."

Since the incident, Solon Chief Steve Nash has called for spike strips on highway ramps to prevent such wrong-way crashes.

He said he believes spike strips should be installed in the pavement on on-ramps. Cars going the right way would drive over them, but any drivers going the wrong way would have their tires shredded.

Continuing coverage here.