PRESS RELEASE, 3/24/2011

HAMILTON COUNTY PROSECUTOR ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT IN DEATH OF TAXI CAB DRIVER AND PASSENGER

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the indictment of   Mark Gerth (DOB 11-6-71) for 2 counts of Murder (Special Felony), 4 counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (Felony 1 and Felony 2), 1 count of Aggravated Vehicular Assault (Felony 2), 1 count of Vehicular Assault (Felony 3), 1 count of Failure to Comply (Felony 3), 2 counts of Failure to Stop After an Accident (Felony 3) and 1 count of Receiving Stolen Property (Felony 4) for the March 16, 2011 crash that killed taxi cab driver Mohamed Ould Mohamed Sidi and his passenger Tonya Hairston.  Gerth’s passenger Donald Evans was seriously injured as a result of this incident which gives rise to the Aggravated Vehicular Assault and Vehicular Assault charges.  If convicted of all charges, Gerth faces life in prison.

Shortly after midnight on March 16, 2011 Cincinnati Police saw Gerth operating a stolen 2006 Toyota Rav4 at the intersection of Lang and E. Clifton in Over-the-Rhine.   Police gave chase in a marked police vehicle with lights and sirens activated from Over-the-Rhine to Mt. Auburn to Clifton and then back downtown but Gerth refused to stop and continued to operate the car at a high rate of speed and with disregard for traffic control devices. Police followed Gerth’s vehicle for approximately 8 minutes until he ran a red light at 799 Sycamore Street and crashed into a Chrysler PT Cruiser and a Tri-State Yellow Taxi Cab Ford Crown Victoria driven by Mr. Sidi.  The cab was struck in the center of the passenger side and sustained major damage.  

In addition to operating a stolen vehicle at a high rate of speed, Gerth did not possess a valid driver’s license and was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.   After the impact, Gerth fled from the scene and resisted arrest when finally apprehended a short distance later at 7th and Sycamore near St. Xavier Church.

The driver and passenger in the Chrysler PT Cruiser sustained only minor injuries.

Mr. Sidi was pronounced dead at the scene.  Ms. Hairston was taken to University Hospital and pronounced dead there.

Donald Evans was transported to University Hospital where he was treated for a broken ankle and hip.  He remains hospitalized for his injuries.

Prosecutor Deters commented, “This moron (Gerth) has caused unimaginable pain to two families.  Because of his stupidity, two of our neighbors have had their lives snuffed out.  We will work hard to put him in prison for the rest of his life.”