CLEVELAND - A man who was killed in a car crash was left dead in the crumpled vehicle when it was towed away, and the body wasn't discovered until family members found it two days later, police said.
An officer who handled the crash failed to check the vehicle before it was towed, said Martin Flask, Cleveland's safety director. The police department is reviewing the case.
Emil Azzam, 50, of Lakewood, died instantly from head and neck injuries when his car crashed on Friday on a snowy roadway, the Cuyahoga County coroner ruled.
The car was not far from a multi-vehicle accident, and witnesses had described Azzam's car as an abandoned vehicle, police said.
But the family said paramedics found the phone number of a friend of Azzam's in the car and notified him of the crash. The family went to the hospital that the paramedic had mentioned to the friend, but Azzam never arrived, said Victoria Green, his sister-in-law.
"It was like he vanished from Earth," she said. "We had been searching for him for two days."
Azzam's family filed a missing- person's report, traced his vehicle to the impounded-car lot and found the body Sunday. He was still holding a burned-out cigarette in his hand, his family said. *