CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a Cuyahoga County grand jury has returned an indictment charging Roderick Stewart, 29, for intentionally crashing an SUV into a utility pole killing one passenger and injuring several additional passengers.

“It is poor judgment, to say the least, to drive a vehicle carrying 14 passengers, 11 of which were children, in an SUV manufactured to hold seven. It is horrifying that this individual would then intentionally crash that vehicle into a utility pole knowing the severe damage it would cause including the death of a seven-year-old girl. My thoughts and prayers are with all who were affected by this tragedy.”

Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley

On September 3, 2023, around 7:30 p.m., Roderick Stewart was driving a Buick Enclave carrying 14 passengers, 11 of whom were under the age of 12, near West 58th Street and Denison Avenue in Cleveland. While driving, Stewart began to argue with one of the passengers in the vehicle. He stated to the passengers, “Shut up before I crash this car.” He then swerved and drove the Buick directly into a utility pole. Several good Samaritans began pulling passengers out of the vehicle to assist them. Roderick fled the scene.

The Cleveland Division of Police (CPD), the Cleveland Division of Fire, and Cleveland EMS responded to the scene and transported passengers to a nearby hospital to be treated for their injuries. The seven-year-old victim was pronounced deceased at the hospital. On October 11, the U.S. Marshals Service of Cleveland arrested Roderick Stewart. The investigation was conducted by the CPD.

On October 20, 2023, Roderick Stewart was indicted on the following charges:

  • One count of Aggravated Murder
  • Two counts of Murder
  • 17 counts of Felonious Assault
  • One count of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
  • Two counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault

He will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center at a later date.