Speeding alleged in fatal Thanksgiving pedestrian crash that kills teen

The driver charged this week with killing a Botkins teenager walking along a Warren County road on Thanksgiving night was traveling 16 miles over the speed limit and tested just under the legal limit for alcohol consumption, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Robert C. Pietrantonio, 55, of Centerville, is also a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last month on behalf of the alleged victim, Skyler P. Ludington, 18, of Botkins, Shelby County, according to court records.

Pietrantonio, who could not be reached for comment and has no lawyer listed in either case, was indicted by a Warren County grand jury on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, operating a vehicle while under the influence and failing to stop after an accident to exchange information.

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He is accused of fleeing the scene of the crash that resulted in the death of Ludington near his father’s home in Clearcreek Twp.

Ludington reportedly had been visiting his father on the holiday when he was hit less than a mile from the father’s home on West Lytle-Five Point Road. The highway patrol report indicates the boy went out for a walk after father and son argued.

“He was in the berm, because there is no sidewalk,” said Michael L. Wright, the lawyer representing Ludington’s mother, the executor of his estate.

Witnesses told troopers Pietrantonio stopped after the crash but left the scene after learning police had been called.

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Pietrantonio was found at his home nearby, off Yankee Road, but no charges were filed while the Ohio Highway Patrol investigated the crash.

The highway patrol’s report calculated Pietrantonio was traveling 61 mph in 45 mph zone and registered 0.066 on a blood-alcohol test - slightly under the 0.08 legal limit.

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Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Steve Knippen declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

The highway patrol report indicates the blood-alcohol test was administered seven hours after the crash.

Pietrantonio, who was uninjured, was tracked through a combination of information, including his phone number and GPS coordinates sent to the communications center in Lebanon after the airbag on his white 2015 Ford F-150 deployed, Sgt. James Sparkman of the highway patrol said after the crash.

“This shouldn’t of happened. Drinking and driving kills,” Wright said. “The family is grieving the loss of their child.”

Judge Robert Peeler has been assigned to the lawsuit, but no hearings have been scheduled.

Pietrantonio was indicted by a grand jury on June 29, according to a list released by the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday.

On Thursday, he remained free, pending his arraignment on July 21 in Warren County Common Pleas Court. Judge Timothy Tepe is assigned to the case.

The aggravated vehicular homicide and failing to stop after an accident charges are third-degree felonies, vehicular homicide and OVI charges first-degree misdemeanors.

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