Autopsy shows man died from natural causes, not Dickinson vehicle pedestrian accidentA 62-year-old man who passed away in June after he was struck by a vehicle in January while walking on 21st Street West died of natural causes, Stark County Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Hope announced during at hearing at the county courthouse Tuesday.
By: By Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
A 62-year-old man who passed away in June after he was struck by a vehicle in January while walking on 21st Street West died of natural causes, Stark County Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Hope announced during at hearing at the county courthouse Tuesday.
Kayln Meduna of Dickinson may have faced harsher charges had the autopsy shown Norbert Rodakowski died from crash-related injuries.
“It was not a result of the accident, it was heart disease,” Hope said.
Meduna, who was 20 when the accident occurred, is charged with aggravated reckless driving, driving under the influence of marijuana and possession of marijuana and will not face further charger, Hope said.
“We were very surprised about the autopsy report,” Ron Rodakowski, Norbert’s brother, said of the family. “To us, we felt he died more because of the car wreck. He couldn’t do anything — couldn’t eat couldn’t move his legs and you know, to say he died of a heart attack is kind of strange to us.”
Norbert Rodakowski suffered broken legs, a broken arm, face lacerations and back injuries, according to his family. He was hospitalized from the time he was struck by Meduna’s vehicle until his death, they say.
“The written autopsy certainly listed all of the occurrences that happened to my brother, but it was like the final cause of death — hardening of the arteries — that was the cause,” said Harold Rodakowski, Norbert’s brother. “But in my thoughts, there is certainly more to it than that.”
However, he doesn’t believe his family will contest the results.
“It is what it is and let’s proceed and go on,” Harold Rodakowski said. “I don’t want to be vindictive. What’s happened has happened.”
Meduna is relieved, said Kelly Armstrong, her attorney.
“She’s very sorry for everything that’s happened,” he said. “She’s relieved both legally and personally.”
A plea agreement wasn’t reached at the hearing, but Armstrong expects one would be made within a week. A hearing will not be held, since he expects it to be agreed to in writing.
Since each count against Meduna is a felony, the longest she could be sentenced to is just over two years.
However, Ron Rodakowski thinks the plea agreement will be for a year or less. He said he is irritated about it.
“There was a lot of grief and a lot of frustration seeing him going to these hospitals and seeing him there more like a vegetable than a person,” Ron Rodakowski said.
Harold Rodakowski also has mixed feelings about sentencing and wonders who will pay $300,000 in medical bills.
“Should we seek punishment on Ms. Meduna? I’m not sure,” he said. “I don’t know her, I don’t know what she’s like and that may not be fruitful to try for punishment.”
Harold Rodakowski called the situation tragic.
“I feel sorry for my brother and I feel sorry for Ms. Meduna,” he said.