Airborne Driver Faces Host of Charges, Say Police
Both men listed in critical condition at Metro Health Medical Center.
The 24-year-old Fairview Park man, who briefly led police on a high-speed chase before driving a 2004 Porsche off of a cliff, faces a host of charges stemming from the July 10 crash that left his 47-year-old passenger in critical condition.
Thomas C. Smith, who is also listed in critical condition at Metro Health Medical Center, faces a host of charges including felony fleeing and eluding.
He also faces an aggravated vehicular assault charge, stemming from the injuries sustained to the passenger, Matthew J. Vaneck, 47, also of Fairview Park.
“We suspect alcohol may be a factor but we don’t know for sure at this time,” said Capt. Gary Stone of the Lakewood Police Department.
He said that Smith was driving at a high rate of speed when the 2004 Porsche Carrera came to the end of the Detroit Avenue extension and launched over a curb, and landed more than 100 feet below in the Cleveland Metroparks.
The crash took place at around 3:40 a.m. after Smith allegedly fled from a traffic stop for expired plates. When the car got a lead on police, the chased was called off.
After the car launched from the parking lot at the Commodore Club Apartments, it sliced through trees on its way down, clearing Metro Parks Drive and landed in an embankment west of the street.
“When the lights go on, just pull over,” said Stone.