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Man allegedly under the influence struck and killed a 65-year-old man driving in Cleveland Heights

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Posted at 11:35 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 13:41:05-04

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A Solon man was hospitalized and taken into custody after he allegedly struck and killed a 65-year-old man near the intersection of Mayfield and Taylor roads in Cleveland at around 11:15 p.m. Thursday night.

Authorities extricated 65-year-old Eugene Rankin Jr., who was taken to University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Preliminary information from the crash scene revealed the driver struck Rankin head-on, causing Rankin’s car to veer over into the grass along the southside of Mayfield Road.

Initially when police arrived at the crash, the alleged drunk driver ran westbound on Mayfield Road before heading southbound into the trees

The man, who hasn’t been identified by police yet, told officers at the scene that he had gotten into a fight with his wife at his Solon home after she told him she wanted a divorce, according to the police report.

The man told EMS that he drank about a half of a bottle of whiskey before leaving in his truck.

Officers at the scene noted a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

The driver was hospitalized for treatment, with charges unknown at this time.

Mayfield Road was closed from Forest Hills to the Cooper Trace/Severance Circle entrance while crews worked the scene.