2 charged with manslaughter in separate crashes

LISBON – Two people were recently charged by the highway patrol with vehicular manslaughter for separate crashes last year that resulted in fatalities.

According to the reports released Wednesday, Samantha Baker, 18, of Y&O Road, Wellsville, was charged on Friday for the Aug. 1 crash in Madison Township that killed 25-year-old Justin Knapp.

Knapp, of County Airport Road, Wellsville, was on a 2007 Honda motorcycle northwest on Y&O Road when he collided with the Mercury Sable Baker was driving.

Baker was in the process of making a left turn out of a private drive when the motorcycle approached and the impact caused the motorcycle to go off the right edge of the road, over an embankment and into a thick clump of trees and weeds. Knapp was ejected during the crash and died as a result of the injuries. He was not wearing a helmet. Baker voluntarily provided a blood sample, which came back negative for drugs or alcohol, according to the report.

An arraignment has been scheduled for Feb. 28 in Columbiana County Municipal Court on the charge.

Richard B. Hall, 28, Kingsport, Tenn. has been charged with vehicular manslaughter for the Sept. 26 crash in Butler Township that killed 21-year-old Kara Molnar.

Molnar, of Adena, Ohio, was a passenger on Hall’s motorcycle when it went off state Route 9 just south of Whinnery Road and into two trees.

Hall and Molnar were both ejected and Molnar died at the scene. Hall was taken by medical helicopter to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown.

Both tested positive for oxycodone and Molnar also tested positive for alcohol, although no alcohol was found in Hall’s system.

When contacted in November by a trooper investigating the crash, Hall reportedly denied any drug involvement.

A criminal arraignment has been set for March 3 in county Municipal Court.

According to state law, vehicular manslaughter can be charged when recklessness, negligence or another violation has occurred.

Trooper Jodi Bowlen handled both accidents. She was out on the road Wednesday and could not be reached for additional information.