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 , 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 .

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 , 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. 

marina July 12, 2012 at 06:52 PM
i saw the whole thing happen and got in the middle of the street to stop the police officer to tell him they went up and over, the cop that came right before the one i stopped went into rocky river looking for the car. i hope these guys pull thru, even if he was being stupid running from the cops. if it wasnt for me walking to work who knows how long the guys would have been laying their. it was like a seen out of a movie and the sight of seeing the car zoom down the street and fly up and over the valley and the sound of the car smacking the ground will hunt me! i thought they where dead for sure.
Harriet Petti July 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM
If alcohol was involved the answer is the same as it always has been. Drinking and driving.
Nanci Scott August 15, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Does anyonen know their outcome?
Anne August 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Matt is in a long term care facility....he has been in a coma since the accident. I believe the other person is fine and recovered.
Bruce Colby October 30, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Bruce Anne, are you friends or family of Matts? Is Matt still in a coma? I know Tommy, who is recovering from recent surgery on his broken back, that didn't heal right initially. Not sure he'll ever be right. Such a shame.


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