Patrick Niess, 20, 1535 Edgewood St. N.E., Warren, pleaded not guilty today to a misdemeanor charge of vehicular homicide in the pedestrian death of Antoinette Ross, 55, of Howland.
Ohio State Highway Patrol reports indicate that Niess apparently fell asleep and drove off the north side of King Graves Road. He went into a ditch and struck a culvert and traffic sign before coming to a rest some 600 feet west of where Ross' body was discovered the morning of Dec. 9 by a local trash collector.
The patrol has said that they believe Ross was hit by a vehicle between 9 p.m. Dec. 8 and 8 a.m. Dec. 9.
Lt. Brian Holt, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Warren Post in Southington, said Niess was wearing a seat belt and suffered no injuries from the accident. He was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the initial investigation, officials reported.