Mental health board official cited in downtown crash pleads not guilty

Staff report


The woman cited in a three-vehicle crash involving a Youngstown police cruiser and another vehicle carrying an infant pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Brenda S. Heidinger, 49, of North Hartford Avenue, Youngstown, who is associate director of the county Mental Health and Recovery Board, faces a misdemeanor count after being accused of ignoring the traffic signal, Youngstown Municipal Court records show.

A police report states Heidinger ran the red light at the corner of Market and Front streets just after 2 p.m. Jan. 31, causing the cruiser to strike Heidinger’s Nissan Rogue SUV and send it careening into the oncoming lane toward a Toyota Rav 4 SUV carrying Jarrod Marrie, 29, of Sharpsville, Pa., as well as his wife and infant daughter. Heidinger’s vehicle sheared off the front guard of the police cruiser being driven by 29-year-old officer Gregory Tackett of Youngstown.

“It looked like she was going 50 miles an hour – she was cruising,” Marrie told The Vindicator at the scene.

Read more about the matter in Thursday's Vindicator or on