The Norwalk Reflector: Norwalk man arrested, charged in hit-skip that left two teen bicyclists seriously injured
By CARY ASHBY – Reflector Staff Writer | Thursday October 01 2009, 11:33am
Bellevue resident Randel Hensinger said he is “without a doubt” grateful to know the Norwalk driver who fled after hitting his son and his friend will be facing justice.
Coleman D. Flanigan, 28, of 91 1/2 N. Foster St., was arrested this morning at his home on a Seneca County Common Pleas Court warrant. He was charged with two counts each of vehicular assault and failing to stop after an accident.
Authorities have accused Flanigan, formerly of Bellevue, of failing to maintain an assured clear distance, hitting two bicyclists and fleeing the scene of a Sept. 11 hit-and-run incident. The collision happened on County Road 62 in Thompson Township near the Sandusky-Seneca county lines.
Bicyclists Brett Hensinger, 17, of 312 Kinney St., Bellevue, and Shane Tobin 18, of Toledo, were seriously injured. The pair met and became friends as student-atheletes at Bellevue Senior High School.
Hensinger started recovering at his grandmother’s home as of Sept. 14.
He fractured the bone above his eye and area around his eye socket. The bicyclist also sustained a severe wound to his left ankle and a similar wound to his right knee. Hensinger also had to have about 40 stitches in his face.
Randel Hensigner said today his son “is still on the road of recovery” and is back in school.
Tobin, a 2009 Bellevue graduate, was in critical condition in the intensive care unit at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in mid-September, but was no longer listed in hospital records about a week later. He is a University of Toledo student and is believed to be paralyzed from the waist down.
His relatives declined to provide an update when contacted by the Reflector this morning.
“At this time we have no comment on the indictment or the arrest. We continue to focus on Shane and Brett and their recovery. (We) would like to thank everyone who keeps the boys in their thoughts and prayers,” Tobin’s family said via e-mail.
Hours after the Sept. 11 collision, state troopers from the Fremont and Norwalk posts located Flanigan’s 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix near his Norwalk home based on tips from local police. Norwalk Police Capt. Eric Hipp has said there was “fresh damage” on the right side of the front windshield and the right side of the roof line.
Officer Seth Fry arrested the suspect at 2:05 a.m. today. Fry turned Flanigan over to the Huron County Jail, where he is being held until Seneca County sheriff’s deputies can pick him up.
Randel Hensigner said he wants to send “a grateful thank-you” to the troopers and Norwalk and Milan officers “for all their hands” in the investigation.