Estate of pedestrian killed in 2015 traffic accident in Liberty sues driver

By Ed Runyan


The estate of a woman killed by a motorist Jan. 28, 2015, as she walked along state Route 193 in Liberty Township has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, who is a former police officer and corrections officer.

The lawsuit, filed by Emily Huffman, administrator of the estate of Amy Huffman, seeks monetary damages from Ryan M. Tolone, 30, of East Kline Street in Girard, accusing him of negligently operating his vehicle.

The suit seeks at least $25,000 for Amy Huffman’s husband, Trintess Huffman Sr.; three daughters, Emily Huffman, Amanda Huffman and Callie Huffman; and one son, Trintess Huffman Jr.

It says they suffered financial loss from medical, funeral, burial and other costs.

No phone number was available to contact Tolone for this story. Tolone was never charged with a crime in the matter.

Tolone was traveling south on Route 193 near Vintage Village Mobile Home Park at 10:40 p.m. Jan. 28 when he hit and killed Emily Huffman, 45, of Tibbetts-Wick Road, Liberty, as she walked along the roadway, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Huffman was believed to be walking in the roadway and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.093 and the active ingredient for marijuana in her system. But Tolone was determined to have the drug Suboxone in his urine, the patrol said.

He had just left a meeting at the Brookfield Police Department, where he worked as a part-time police officer. He also was a corrections officer at the Trumbull County jail.

He later resigned from the police department and was fired from the jail because of the drug finding. An arbitrator upheld his termination in December 2015.

In an internal-affairs interview with Maj. Thomas Stewart of the sheriff’s office in June, Tolone admitted he was using Suboxone “because he had become addicted to oxycodone,” according to documents.

“He admitted that he did not have a prescription for the Suboxone but got it from friends and neighbors and on the street,” the arbitrator’s decision said.

The sheriff’s office pointed out that Tolone had three disciplinary write-ups during his three years as a corrections officer, including a two-day suspension for “being involved in passing a note from one accused murderer [David Martin] to another accused murderer,” the decision said.

That incident occurred a couple of weeks before Martin and two other inmates took corrections officer Joe Lynn hostage for several hours April 23, 2014, the decision said.

Martin later was convicted of aggravated murder for killing Jeremy Cole, 21, and attempting to kill Melissa Putnam, 30, in September 2012 in Warren. Martin was given the death penalty.