Authorities identify driver involved in chase, fatal crash

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CLEVELAND – Police have identified the man accused of leading troopers on a chase that ended in a crash early Friday morning.  This comes after Ohio State Highway Patrol asked for the public’s help in identifying him. Troopers tried to stop the driver of a silver 2017 Toyota Corolla for speeding and weaving onto the berm on Interstate 90 eastbound near State Route 176 around 1:50 a.m. The driver of the Toyota then led OSHP on a pursuit at speeds of up to 90 miles-per-hour, heading south on SR 176 towards I-480, according to the highway patrol. As the vehicle passed under I-71 a 9mm handgun was thrown from the driver’s side of the vehicle, OSHP reports. The driver exited the freeway at at Harvard/Denison, crashing into a guard rail and utility pole.
Both the driver and his passenger were injured and remained in the vehicle after the crash until authorities were able to assist them. Officials say the passenger, a 62-year-old Cleveland man, was killed in the crash. The driver refused to reveal his identity to troopers and claimed there was another gun in the car. Authorities did not find another weapon in the car but did recover the gun that had been thrown from the vehicle. The driver was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries. Investigators on scene said alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash. Around 11:25 a.m., OSHP said the driver had been identified as Richard Darnell Aarons, 38, of Cleveland. Troopers say Aarons’ was identified using a fingerprint identification system with assistance from the Rocky River Police Department.  They also thank the community members who provided authorities with information regarding his identity. According to records from the Cleveland Municipal Court and the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas, Aarons has cases pending in both courts.
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