Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Geauga
Criminal Appeal from the Chardon Municipal Court, Case No.
2018 TRD 02610.
M. Coyne, For Plaintiff-Appellee.
Kimberly Kendall Corral, For Defendant-Appellant.
Defendant-appellant, Joseph P. DeCaro, appeals his conviction
for violating R.C. 4511.39 ("Use of signals for
stopping, turning, decreasing speed, moving left or right;
limitations") following a bench trial in the Chardon
On May 17, 2018, DeCaro was issued a citation for Turn Signal
Violations, a minor misdemeanor in violation of R.C. 4511.39.
On May 29, 2018, DeCaro entered a plea of "not
On August 15, 2018, trial was held at which the following
testimony was presented:
Kelley A. Vanek testified that, on May 17, 2018, at about
8:30 a.m., she was operating her vehicle northbound on Munn
Road. After crossing the bridge over U.S. 422, she noticed a
slow-moving white van:
As I approached it, I saw that the van pulled into the berm
[the right tires were over the white line], and so I made the
move to pass on the left. And as I started to cross the line,
which it was a split yellow line, * * * the van turned left
in front of me, and I was astounded, * * * so I turned hard
left and aimed for the field, and I hit a mailbox instead.
And then Mr. DeCaro hit me and turned me on my side and I
rode [into] the ditch * * * I did not see a turn signal at
any time. He did pull over into the berm, no turn signal, so
I assumed * * * that he was pulling over so that I could
Vanek estimated that she was thirty to forty feet behind
DeCaro's van when she initiated the lane change. She
slowed down as she approached his vehicle and then
accelerated to pass and was travelling "thirty [m.p.h.]
or less" when she decided to pass.
As a result of the accident, Vanek pled "no
contest" to a charge of violating R.C. 4511.27
("Rules governing overtaking and passing of
vehicles") as she did not signal that she would be
passing. Photographs depicting the damage of Vanek's
vehicle were introduced into evidence.
Trooper Steven D. Jefferies of the State Highway Patrol
issued the citation to DeCaro for violating R.C. 4511.39. He
explained his decision to issue the citation, based ...