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Man pleads guilty in crash that killed Kent State student on scooter

Mar 22, 2023Mar 22, 2023

An Atwater man has pleaded guilty for leaving the scene of a crash that killed a Kent State University student on an electric scooter last summer.

Timothy Michael Brind, 20, pleaded guilty to third-degree felony failure to stop after an accident, the lone charge in a grand jury indictment, during a status conference this week in Portage County Common Pleas Court.

Scheduling of sentencing is pending the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation by the court's adult probation department. Under state law, Brind faces a maximum of three years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 and a driver's license suspension of up to three years, according to court records.

Frank Cimino, Brind's attorney, declined to comment.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said 22-year-od Colin James Vinh Pho, of Kent, was riding his electric scooter eastbound on Summit Road at state Route 261 in Franklin Township when a vehicle struck the scooter from behind at about 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 22. The then-unidentified vehicle fled the scene, the highway patrol said.

Pho was taken by ambulance to University Hospitals Portage Medical Center and then flown by medical helicopter to UH Cleveland Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead soon after arrival.

Pho was a junior at Kent State, majoring in computer science with a concentration in game programming. He was from Ashtabula.

According to a highway patrol crash report, evidence gathered during an investigation indicated that the scooter was in the right lane, but quickly moved into the left lane in front of the car, identified as a 2008 Dodge Charger owned by Brind. Evidence indicated that the Dodge's driver attempted to swerve to avoid a collision, but struck the rear of the scooter.

Evidence cited in the report included video from a westbound Portage Area Regional Transit Authority bus. It did not show the crash, but did show the actions of the car and scooter before the crash, the report said.

Jonathan Pho, Colin Pho's father, has disputed the implication that his son was at fault in the crash. He said he believes that if his son were at fault, damage to Brind's car would have been on the passenger side, not on the driver's side, as indicated in the report.

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at [email protected].