Ohio’s 2017 Fatal Bicycle Crashes – A Brief Review

While the Ohio Department of Public Safety [ODPS] does not release its “Crash Facts” until later in the year, we can be fairly certain that all of the fatal bicycle crashes have now been reported. I try to track EVERY fatal bike crash in “real time” – meaning I set my Google Alerts to try to pick up media reports and I rely on folks around the state to send me reports that they see.

I’ve reviewed the preliminary ODPS stats, which reflect a total of 19 cyclists killed in Ohio in 2017. I’ll review each crash after we receive the full and complete report from each crash. We will obtain the report, all photos, all cruiser/body cam videos, all field sketches & measurements, all witness statements and any other data available. We will try to determine exactly what happened adn how the crash might have been avoided. We will try to determine if any criminal charges came out of the crash and what happened in the case.

For now, here’s a brief summary of the crashes.

19 Fatal Crashes

Fault Assigned by Police?

10 – Cyclist at Fault
9  – Motorist At Fault

CYCLIST at Fault

3- Not Visible Dark-No lights
– Darting
– Illegally in Roadway
– Wrong Side of Road
3 – “Other improper action”
–  Failure to Yield


–  Failure to Yield
– Left of Center
5 – Follow too closely
– Ran Red Light
– Ran Stop Sign
-Improper Lane Change

Daylight v. Night?

11 – In the DARK
7- Cyclist at Fault
4 – Motorist At Fault


5 – Hit/Skip
4 – In the DARK
3 – Unsolved
4 – Rear-end Collisions
1- Head-On Collision


16 – Communities with Population < 50,000
3  – Communities with Population > 50,000

Counties in which 2 Cyclists were killed?

 – Hamilton
– Franklin
– Cuyahoga
– Tuscarawas

Date County
1/1/17 Montgomery
1/5/17 Tuscarawas
1/6/17 Franklin
2/6/17 Sandusky
2/16/17 Williams
3/10/17 Jackson
5/22/17 Hamilton
6/2/17 Clark
6/30/17 Cuyahoga
8/8/17 Cuyahoga
8/16/17 Franklin
8/18/17 Wayne
8/19/17 Hamilton
9/27/17 Mercer
10/3/17 Holmes
10/24/17 Lorain
10/27/17 Washington
11/1/17 Coshocton
12/14/17 Tuscarawas


Date Victim Age
1/1/17 Wilbur Vanwey 47
1/5/17 Joseph Yoder 46
1/6/17 Jason Bostic 35
2/6/17 John Parish 60
2/16/17 Keith Brown 57
3/10/17 Benjamin Snyder 15
5/22/17 William Rust 61
6/2/17 Kaden Webb 11
6/30/17 Emmanuel Wen 2
8/8/17 Jesse Parker 36
8/16/17 Joshua Richardson 41
8/18/17 Jeremy Grimm 42
8/19/17 Anthony Grace 44
9/27/17 Nicholas Hemmelgarn 67
10/3/17 Nelson J. Miller 30
10/24/17 Jason A Baird 26
10/27/17 Therea Leigh Fillmon 49
11/1/17 Robert Yoder 14
12/14/17 William L. Morris 12


Emmanuel Wen, the two year old listed above, probably should not be listed as a “cyclist.”  Apparently he was riding on a “Big Wheel” type 3 wheeled “toy” when he left the driveway and got onto Cedar Road where he was struck by a large vehicle.

William Rust was killed by an hit/run motorist who was allegedly using heroin. He was killed near the same place on US 52 that Michael Prater was killed a year earlier… by a hit/run motorist using heroin… who is now serving a 13.5 year prison term. We are still waiting for Steve Sickle, William Rust’s killer, to come to trial. His case is set for “Pleas or Trial Setting” on January 8, 2017.

Nineteen people were killed. Nineteen families grieving… friends… relatives… trying to figure out what happened and why. Nineteen separate crashes – 19  deaths out of the … 40,000… or so … which happened due to something stupid or careless on U.S. roads… I hope we, as a country, society, can start to take traffic safety seriously some day…


Printed from: https://ohiobikelawyer.com/bike-law-101/2018/01/ohios-2017-fatal-bicycle-crashes-a-brief-review/ .
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