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Hit-skip crash in Eastlake kills 20-year-old man, driver's BAC nearly double the legal limit, police say

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 19:36:53-05

EASTLAKE, Ohio — A Lake County family is dealing with the unimaginable: the loss of their 20-year-old son and brother. Michael ‘Dylan’ Minello died Friday, a victim of a hit-and-run in Eastlake.

A 69-year-old woman from Willoughby was charged with hit-skip, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, blood alcohol content and aggravated vehicular homicide.

Devon Brooks, Minello’s mom, said Friday evening her son was at her home in Willoughby, celebrating family members’ birthdays. She has a video of him singing his grandma ‘Happy birthday.’

“This is the video of him an hour before the accident. He just left here. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye,” she said.

Brooks said Michael left her home, like he always did, on his bike. He was going to his friend’s house.

“He was an experienced rider,” said Brooks. “He has been riding that bike, going up and down Lakeshore [Boulevard] every single day, sometimes more.”

Larry Reik, Eastlake’s Police Chief, said around 10 p.m. on Friday, police were called to Lakeshore Boulevard for a man down in the bike lane. He said when they arrived they found Minello and his bike. He said it was clear he was hit but there was no car or driver there.

Reik said they were processing the scene when one of his officers was dispatched to another call, on the way there he noticed a car with visible front passenger damage trying to get back on Lakeshore Boulevard.

“It was actually coming to the roadway again and the roadway was closed due to our accident, so she began to make a U-turn in front of him,” said Reik. “We were very fortunate with the circumstances to find the driver.”

Reik said the 69-year-old woman's blood-alcohol level through a breath test was .155, which is almost double the legal limit.

She was arrested an hour after the hit-and-run.

“She just left him. I don’t know why. I don’t understand. He was just a kid,” said Brooks. “Why would she just hit him and leave my son there dead? I don’t know why she did what she did but my son didn’t deserve that.”

Minello’s dad, Robert Minello, and Brooks said their son’s death won’t be in vain. He was in the process of getting his license and when he got his learner’s permit, he chose to be an organ donor.

They both said they find comfort knowing his selflessness saved the lives of others.

“He was able to donate every organ,” said Brooks. “Just because we couldn’t save his life, he lives on in others.”

She wanted to share her pain, as a warning to anyone getting behind the wheel: don’t drink and drive.

“You never know whose life you’ll be taking, whose family you’ll affect,” Brooks said.

To donate to his GoFundMe, click here.

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