Man douses himself in gasoline and rams building
WARREN — A man who crashed into Giant Eagle on Elm Road was attempting suicide and doused himself in gasoline before speeding at 60 mph into the grocery store building and a transformer outside, according to a Warren crash report.
The man was taken by helicopter to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital after the 12:30 a.m. Friday crash, according to police.
The man told police he was “attempting suicide” and had “doused the inside of vehicle with gas in an attempt to blow it up upon impact,” the report states.
Mark T. Ginkinger, 49, 304 Idylwild St. NE, Warren, was driving a 1984 Buick Skyhawk at the time of the crash, the report states.
“It sounded like a bomb went off,” said Tommy Sanford, who was sitting on the eighth floor of the apartment building behind the grocery store when he watched the vehicle speed up and slam into the transformer and building.
While his girlfriend called 911, Sanford raced down the stairs to check on the man, who wasn’t moving when he first got to the scene, Sanford said.
“I tried to get over to him as quick as I could. He was unresponsive, we were yelling at him. He seemed like he was gone,” Sanford said. “We didn’t get too close to him because of the transformer. But when the fire department and the ambulance got there, he started moving.”
There were gas cans in the car and the smell of gasoline permeated the crash scene, Sanford said. The smell lingered Friday as crews cleaned up the scene of the crash.
The crash took out power until nearly 10:30 a.m. at the store and surrounding area.
Phillip Macri, a truck driver for D’Urso Bakery in Niles, said his delivery schedule was interrupted Friday when he tried to drop off his bi-weekly delivery of pizza shells. A sign posted stated no deliveries were being accepted.
Macri said he was told by store employees that everything in the dairy section had to be thrown out and they couldn’t accept his deliveries because they would be thrown out, too.
Macri said the pizza shells would probably find their way into the trash anyway because of the issue.
Ginkinger’s condition and the nature or his injuries were not disclosed by police. The report classified his injuries as “incapacitating” and his condition as “emotional (depressed, angry, disturbed).”
No drug or alcohol tests were given at the scene.
Sanford said he saw the Buick speeding, driving 60 to 70 mph, and the driver never seemed to try to slow down.
The helicopter landed around 1:40 a.m. in a section of the front parking lot of the plaza after police cordoned it off, according to the 911 call log.
Howland and the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted Warren police and emergency medical technicians at the scene.
Ginkinger was convicted in 2002 of gross sexual imposition and five counts of sexual battery in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court after reports to Niles police a female relative of his was raped for several years beginning when she was 12, according to court records. Ginkinger was sentenced to a year behind bars, according to court records.
Reporter Emily Earnhart contributed to this report.