Dillon Carr mug

Dillon Carr

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written in response to a reader-submitted question through Open Source, a platform where readers can ask Richland Source’s newsroom to investigate a question. More than one reader has asked for an update on the accident involving Source Media reporter Dillon Carr.

MANSFIELD -- An 82-year-old Mansfield man has been charged with improper passing after his vehicle collided with a bicycle July 21 on Marion Avenue.

Elvin Burnell of 1220 Sheirer Road was charged with the minor misdemeanor on Monday after an investigation by the Mansfield Post of the Highway Patrol into the accident that injured Dillon Carr, a reporter for Source Media.

Burnell, who left the scene after the accident, turned himself into the patrol post on July 24 after he was told by his daughter someone had been injured in the crash, which occurred between Home and Trimble Roads at 7:45 a.m.

Carr was near the end of an 18-mile bicycle ride and was headed to his home in the Woodland neighborhood of Mansfield. He exited the Richland B&O Bike Trail and turned east onto Marion Avenue.

Burnell was driving a 2017 Toyota Highlander SUV.

According to the accident report completed by Trooper Andrew Nelson, "(Burnell) stated he was east(bound) on Marion Road and there was another car/vehicle headed west."

"He stated he misjudged the distance between himself and the bike and he struck it," Nelson wrote. "He stated he turned around and could not locate the bike and got confused. He did not think there was any injury due to his vehicle not being heavily damaged so he went home."

"His daughter read the article (on the Source website) and talked to her father and when he heard there was injury to the bicyclist, he turned himself in right away," Nelson wrote.

"Mr. Burnell was remorseful and cooperative throughout the investigation," Nelson said in his report.

Burnell is scheduled for arraignment in Mansfield Municipal Court on Aug. 13, according to court records.

The SUV sustained minor damage to its right front. The bicycle was disabled in the accident.

It's not clear if other charges were considered by the OSHP. The initial page of the accident report says Burnell's vehicle "fled the area" in the narrative describing the accident. On the second page, the "hit/skip" box is checked.

Carr, 29, said he had been passed by a couple of cars before he was struck.

"I have ridden on that road countless times and it's always sort of busy," he said. "People often drive fast there and it was at the forefront of my mind to be conscientious and stay to the right.

"I had just crested a hill and was making my way to the next one when all of a sudden I hear a crunch and I am flying through the air," Carr said.

"The car put on its brakes and looked like it was stopping, even turning around. I was angry, I knew something was wrong with my shoulder, I was holding it in place. I was looking for my phone. I was looking for my shoe. My bike was a crumpled mess.

 "I didn't really look that hard at the driver. I thought for sure this person would stop and try to help. But it just turned around and drove past me in the complete opposite direction it had been going," said Carr, an Ontario High School graduate who grew up in the area.

Carr was treated at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital for a rare posterior shoulder dislocation, a compressed fracture of his T-11 vertebra near the base of his spine and "some really gnarly road rash" on the left side of his body.

He continues to recover from his injuries.

"The right shoulder is stiff and sore. I keep it in a sling for the majority of the day and try to ice a lot. There's limited mobility, but it's definitely better than it was. Some days are better than others," Carr said.

"The back is annoying. I've never broken a vertebrae, so it's hard to describe the pain. I've just been saying it's a constant reminder that I'm injured. I feel like every movement -- daily things like sitting and standing, turning around to see what's behind me -- is wrong or that I'm doing more damage. I wear a back stabilizer," Carr said.

Carr said he has an appointment with a neurologist Thursday and an orthopedic doctor Monday, who has told him an MRI will be needed.

Messages for Nelson and Burnell were not returned by the time this story published.

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