On Monday, May 23, 2011 around 7:35 pm Judge Charles “Chip” Henry was riding his bicycle north on Rapids Road in Geauga County, Ohio – east of Cleveland. The Judge was known to his colleagues as an avid cyclist. It was a nice evening – clear, dry. Sunset in the area that night was 8:44 pm, so light wasn’t a problem.
Rapids Road is shown below. According to the crash report the crash occurred 0.4 mile south of Greystone Drive.
Here’s another view from Google Earth:
The motorist who killed Judge Henry was also northbound on Rapids. Kelly Cox was driving a 2008 Chrysler Pacifica – a big, SUV-ish type of vehicle, which is 5,700 pounds and almost 80 inches wide.
The first apparent impact on the police report is a “bike scuff mark” roughly 2 feet, 11 inches off the side of the road. The Judge’s body is marked almost 160 feet north of this point.
After smashing into Judge Henry, the motorist… just drove away.
She went home, dropped off her kids, and returned with her husband.
So what happened? What did the motorist say? Well, below you can read her own statement…
Ummm… OK.. a raccoon… you swerve and you HIT A MAN ON A BIKE… and you keep going. Later in the statement Mrs. Cox told Troopers she THOUGHT SHE HIT A MAILBOX… so she kept going… when the Trooper asked what her step-daughte thought WHEN THE WINDOW EXPLODED, she admitted that her step-daughter said “I think you hit someone…”
So, Kelly Cox is being prosecuted, right?
Ummm… no… not so far as I can tell.
Well… at least Kelly Cox got a TICKET, right?
Ummm… no… not so far as I can tell.
So WHAT’S GOING ON IN GEAUGA COUNTY? Is the investigation “ongoing?” I haven’t read anything in the media about any tickets – or any prosecution…maybe a sharp reader can help me out… I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering why a death CLEARLY CAUSED BY HORRIFIC DRIVING isn’t being prosecuted at this point… even OSHP apparently came out and said Judge Henry was “BLAMELESS“…
I just don’t get it…
8/20/2011 Follow Up – KELLY COX INDICTED
As many of you know by know, Kelly Cox was indicted this past week on seven separate criminal charges. The key claim is that she had a blood alcohol level in excess of .28% and was driving drunk, with two kids in the car, at the time she smashed into Judge Henry and killed him. You can read my about the indictment here.
7/18/2011 — FollowUp
I ordered the complete crash report and OSHP photos. The photos are, in a word, shocking.
The front of car that the motorist thought “hit a mailbox” is shown below.
The road, straight and narrow, is shown here:
After the crash, the officer tried to see where the damage to the back of the Judge’s bicycle lined up with damage to the SUV.
I understand that this woman had children in the car… but how do you smash into a human being and drive away… THAT I will NEVER understand…
UPDATE 2 – Weather
One alert reader took me to task and pointed out that the photos clearly show some rain, so, she argues, the weather was not “clear and dry” as I wrote. In reviewing the police report again, I found this under weather at the time of the crash.
As I indicated, it was clear and dry AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH. The rain came – but not until after the crash.
What about the witnesses, what did THEY see?
Well, here’s what one wrote:
Here’s what another witness said:
So while the reader’s observations about the rain in the photos are correct, clearly they were taken after the, not before. The crash, however, occurred before the storm hit. It was cloudy but not “dark.” It was clear and dry at the time Judge Henry was killed. He was was “visible” to anyone who was paying attention – like the guys cutting the grass – and should have been seen by every motorist on the road.
Who else said “clear and dry?” What would I write that? Well, if you read the motorist’s statement to the trooper you find this exchange:
The reader also claims that the road is “like an extreme rollercoaster, hilly and curvy.” Yet, from what I can tell from the google map, and the OSHP photos, the section of road where this crash occurred was straight, flat and narrow. The word “rollercoaster” does not pop into my mind when I look at this photo: