WHAT’S GOING ON IN GEAUGA COUNTY?

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 free images. 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 foto herunterladen instagram.

Rapids Road is shown below. According to the crash report the crash occurred 0.4 mile south of Greystone Drive age of empires 2 mac full version free german.

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…

Steve Magas

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:

SMM

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64 Comments   »

  • Amanda says:

    How awful! I can’t believe she swerved to avoid a raccoon! You are specifically not supposed to swerve away from hitting animals for two reasons: first, you can hit someone else and it’s better to hit the animal than kill a person. Second, if you swerve and don’t hit the animal, and hit a tree instead, insurance won’t cover the damage to your car. When you live in rural areas this is something you learn because of all the wildlife here. You are told NOT to swerve away from the animals. And geez! It’s a raccoon, not an endangered species or anything. I mean, if it was a buffalo or a bear, maybe I could understand that, but a raccoon? She had her children in the car and didn’t do anything to render aid? Please take her license away forever!

  • Kevin says:

    I know that there are certain requirements in order for a member of the public to file a lawsuit, such as having a legal standing, or stake, in the matter at hand. Isn’t there some way that cyclists, as a group, can get together as some form of “class action” when the law enforcement authorities aren’t stepping up as they should in a case like this?

  • Steve Magas says:

    @Kevin – Thanks for the note. The short answer is no. We elect Prosecutors to prosecute. They have a tremendous amount of prosecutorial discretion. Since I haven’t heard ANYTHING, I’m hoping that they are still waiting for test results or otherwise figuring out which crimes to charge the motorist with – and not trying to figure out how to wiggle out of doing anything… I’ll keep you posted.

  • Steve Magas says:

    @Amanda – Thanks for writing! I really wonder if she swerved to avoid a raccoon, or tried to swerve because she wasn’t paying attention and ALL OF A SUDDEN this cyclist was in front of her… I’m sure they’ll search cell phone records and whatever else they can find to figure out what was going on in the car. I received the photos from the Ohio State Highway Patrol today from the scene. She CLEARLY rear-ended the bike smack dab in the middle of her car. I’m adding some additional photos to the page shortly. Perhaps the raccoon story was developed to avoid talking about why she left the scene and left this man to die on the side of the road…

  • Dan says:

    As far as I can tell by search of the Geauga county court documents on line, there is no pending case against the driver Kelly Cox. She does; however, have an extensive court record with a history of being the defendent in several suits. There is also a domestic violence report with her as the defendent from Dec 2010. Amazingly there is also a DUI conviction under her maiden name of Kelly Scarpetta that also comes up under her current name. It defies reason that Geauga county has not pressed charges against her. Her story is full of holes and to leave the scene of accident is a felony in my understanding, not to mention morally unpardonable. What can be done to advance the prosecution of this criminal?

  • susan says:

    Before you post something about a horrific story you should really know all the facts.You said it was clear and dry day but yet the pictures you posted say otherwise.The day this happend was the day this area got bad.Also if you would do more research the Judge was wearing all black,he had no reflective on his bike and he was not wearing a helmet.My heart goes out to both families.The driver has to live with knowing she killed someone for the rest of her life.

  • susan says:

    And also the driver lives two seconds from the scene.The children did not need to see anymore than they did.This accident was a accident it can happen to literally anyone.Rapids Road is no place to ride a bike.The road is like a extreme rollercoaster,hilly and curvy.

  • Steve Magas says:

    Susan, Thank you for the comments. You said a lot there.
    1. Everyone has a duty to stop at the scene of an accident. Here, “two seconds” could have been the difference between life and death – we don’t know if calling 911 any earlier would have helped… or if a dying man could have benefitted from having someone with him… Children do not need to see mom running from responsibility
    2. EVERY road in Ohio is a ride-able road. Rapids is no exception. Every motorist has a duty to respect the right of way of a lawfully moving bicycle rider – if they don’t they can kill someone, which is what this lady did. In the area of this crash, from what I can tell from the OSHP photos, it was flat… and straight … and narrow… There is no reason for a car to hit a cyclist unless the motorist was reckless and careless.
    3. This crash was not an “accident” – a word that should be reserved for acts of God. This was a crash – a horrific, and completely preventable crash caused solely and completely by the careless driving of a huge Pacifica – Can it happen “to anyone?” Well, only if that “anyone” is failing to pay attention, drives in a reckless and careless manner, fails to see what there is to be seen, and clobbers a human being on a bicycle who is directly in front of them – then, yea, it can happen to anyone…

  • Steve Magas says:

    Susan
    If you read the complete report, there were indications that a storm was on the horizon, but there were people cutting grass who saw the rider.
    You are right, though, that this woman has to live with killing someone – she caused the crash – she failed to pay attention – she took that man from his family over what? a raccoon? yes… she has to live with that…

  • Steve Magas says:

    Dan
    Thanks for writing. There could be many valid reasons for a delay. Maybe they are getting tox reports. Maybe they are obtaining cell phone data, or other forensic evidence. What can be done? You can call or write the prosecutor, or the OSHP, and ask what is going on. FOllow any case that does come up. Show up at hearings. If there is a trial, attend the trial. If there is a verdict, support the verdict and let the judge know how you felt about it. Talk to reporters and keep the story alive. Talk to local clubs and get them to follow the story. But… most of all… keep the families in your thoughts and prayers…

  • Steve Magas says:

    Susan – One more point with regard to your criticism of me on my reporting of the weather conditions – if you get the police report and read the MOTORIST’s statement you will see the following exchange between the investigating officer and the driver:
    Q: What were the weather conditions at the time of the crash?
    A: It was NOT RAINING. It was CLEAR and DRY

    I don’t know if the raccoon story was made up or not. I don’t know what the motorist was thinking about or doing. The motorist’s story makes no sense. She says “I saw a raccoon, so I swerved. I then swerved over, I did not see anyone. Then in the blink of my eye there was someone on the road. He was in the middle of the road!” Clearly Judge Henry was there to be seen. He didn’t just materialize out of nowhere. That is a long, straight length of roadway and he would have been visible to anyone who was paying attention. She told the officer she didn’t see Judge Henry before she saw the raccoon – but this whole raccoon episode couldn’t have taken more than a few seconds, eh? She should have seen him well before the raccoon “darted out” towards her.

    So why did she run from the scene? Again, the story doesn’t make sense. She tells the officer “I thought it was a mailbox and my street is down the road. So I called my husband when my windshield was broken and told him I hit something and my step daughter said, “I think you hit someONE.”

    At 60 mph the car travels 88 feet per second – a football field in a little over 3 seconds. At 45mph, it is still going 66 feet per second. Looking away from the road in front of you for 3 seconds at 45 mph means you travel HALF a football field while, essentially, wearing a blindfold. You will hit anything that is in front of you. It is the equivalent to taking a pistol into the mall, putting on a blindfold, spinning around and firing a shot – you have no idea whether anyone is in front of you but you are absolutely going to hit whoever is there….

    It’s a very sad case – made sadder by the motorist’s obvious reckless behavior.

  • Jackie says:

    I feel bad for both families. I know it’s very horrific and sad it was a complete accident. No one knows what could have exactly happened. So some of the people that are commenting on here are cruel, anything can happen!

  • justsayn says:

    ok, lets back up a minute. Not saying that this is not horrific, it is simply a tradgedy! But back up a min. Look at the pic of the roadway. No burm right? Now look at the pic showing where the car hit the bike. See it is smack dead in the middle. That vehicle is aprox 6 feet wide. Now think about it, There are no marks on the shoulder that say the vehicle went off the road.( I konw this cause i went by the scene the next day) That beeing said, this means the bicycle had to be atleast 3 feet off the shouder. Also means he was in the middle of the road. Also notice in the pic of the smashed windshield, see the wippers were on. The pass side wipper is even bent in from the impact of the body. Tells me they were on at impact. So come on people, it was truly an accident. Horrible, but accident. Here is the ohio bicycle law. I dont think I would ride a bike on a road that doesnt atleast have a 2 foot shoulder. If you ride in the middle of the road you take a chance of getting hit. Especialy when its raining. This is probably why no charges filed.

  • Steve Magas says:

    @justsayn – The law is this… Bikes are allowed on virtually EVERY road in Ohio. 4511.55 covers lane position… it says many things… first, the general rule is that bike riders must operate their vehicles “as near to the right side of the road as practicable” – however, I helped write 4511(C), an amendment that passed in 2006. This section tries to show a bit of what “practicable” means. Here, the road was narrow – the berm was negligible. The MOTORIST was behind the bike. The MOTORIST had an absolute duty to SEE the bicycle rider and NOT run him over. If you live and breathe you take a chance of “getting hit” as life has risks. The road has rules to minimize risk – the rules say the bicycle rider had the right of way here – a right of way that all other traffic was required to respect. The motorist’s failure to “see” the rider and failure to respect the right of way was the sole reason, from what I can tell, that Judge Henry was killed. The fact that the rider was three feet off the side of the road means the rider was riding right where he SHOULD be riding to make sure he was seen. The motorist screwed up – and killed a man – it’s really that simple.

    The entire statute reads:

    4511.55 Operating bicycles and motorcycles on roadway.
    (A) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles and exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

    (B) Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles.

    (C) This section does not require a person operating a bicycle to ride at the edge of the roadway when it is unreasonable or unsafe to do so. Conditions that may require riding away from the edge of the roadway include when necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, surface hazards, or if it otherwise is unsafe or impracticable to do so, including if the lane is too narrow for the bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

  • Steve Magas says:

    @Jackie – A “complete accident” to me, means something that was unavoidable. This was 100% avoidable. The motorist failed to see a human being riding a bicycle in front of her. I don’t know WHY but I do know that he didn’t just materialize out of thin air – he was there to be seen. The motorist’s story as given to the police is that she was distracted by a “raccoon” which caused her to swerve and then she hit something, which she “thought” was a mailbox – her passenger said, “No it was someONE, not some THING” – Does anybody know “exactly” what happened? No – we have to rely on the Ohio State Highway Patrol to do a complete and thorough investigation – to take measurements, photos and witness statements – to analyze the forensic data – to get phone records – to get blood samples – and to do their best to analyze this. From what I have seen it is clear that the motorist hit the cyclist from behind – that the cyclist had the right of way and was killed was a careless motorist – so no, it wasn’t “a complete accident” – it was a horrific crash caused by a deadly mistake made by the motorist.

  • scott says:

    she was arrested on 8-16-11. Blood alcohol level of .284

  • Steve Magas says:

    Thanks Scott – published that this morning! Check out the “Breaking News”

  • Robin says:

    So now the proof is there that this was NOT an accident….as I have been saying the hole time….SHE WAS DRUNK period…Accidents are not avoidable, getting drunk and getting behind a wheel (especially with kids in the car) is AVOIDABLE. So no this was not an ACCIDENT, this was stupidity…is sick that all she is looking at is 13 years. What did Judge Henry get?? Oh ya the death penalty for her stupidity.

  • Steve Magas says:

    Robin
    You nailed it on the head – certainly the allegation is that Kelly Cox was severely intoxicated. We’ll have to see how the evidence plays out but based on what the indictment indicates, and assuming the science is there to back up that Big .284% BAC number, then yes, she was drunk and NO WONDER she “didn’t see” him, or he just magically appeared…

  • Another Dan says:

    For the most part, raccoons are nocturnal. Although it is reasonable to assume that you would see a raccoon at dusk, it generally occurs if they are sick or very hungry.

    It is difficult to believe that she could clearly see a raccoon that is about 10″ high and 20″ long, but not a human being on a bike that is at least 6′ high and about 30″ wide

    Clearly, her statement that “he was in the middle of the road” is 1) opposite her statement she saw a deer, 2) contrary to her statement she hit a mailbox, and 3) opposite the visual evidence of where Judge Henry hit the windshield.

    I do not believe that having to live with the knowledge of taking someone’s life is sufficient penalty for doing so.

  • Dan Tudor says:

    AUBURN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — 48-year-old Chagrin Falls woman was killed Thursday afternoon when she was struck by a car while walking down a road.

    The State Highway Patrol said Jennifer Viafora was walking along May Court around 2 p.m. when she was struck by the car of Nissar Suhail, 21.

    Viafora was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The accident is under investigation.

    Yes there needs to be a class action! Something!

  • Kevin Cronin says:

    I just want address the previous post from a different Kevin. While Steve is correct that you cannot enter into a criminal prosecution, you can file lawsuits over various road conditions. If roads or bridges are being improved, but aren’t addressing cyclist interests (lawful road users) and pedestrian interests (particularly if there are no sidewalks), than lawsuits can be useful. Also, if the safety risk is particularly bad, than lawsuits also may be useful and have helped accelerate repair schedules and change the modifications. This same strategy applies for simple potholes. If the road is in bad shape, let the city know, citing a location as precisely as you can. If injury or accident later occurs, the city can’t assert they didn’t know the road was a safety risk.

  • Steve Magas says:

    Dan
    The pedestrian issue is far worse than the cyclist issue. In the US 600-700 cyclists are killed each year. More than 4000 pedestrians were killed in 2009! In Ohio, there are similar numbers. An average of 16 cyclist fatalities per year.

    From “walking.org”

    Speeding is a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents of all types and has serious consequences when a pedestrian is involved.
    At higher speeds, motorists are not as likely to see a pedestrian. At higher speeds, motorists are even less likely to be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
    – A pedestrian has an 85 percent chance of death when involved in a motor/vehicle collision at 40 mph, a 45 percent chance of death at 30 mph, and a 5 percent chance of death at 20 mph.
    – In 2005, 78 percent of pedestrian deaths in rural areas occurred on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or higher.
    When a pedestrian is involved in a motor vehicle accident they are at risk for countless serious injuries. Pedestrians’ head, legs, and arms are the most vulnerable in an accident. Often, pedestrians endure extreme bodily injuries such as:
    – Traumatic brain injury
    – Spinal cord injury
    – Paraplegia
    – Quadriplegia
    – Coma
    – Fractured bones
    Most pedestrians are struck by the front of a passenger vehicle. The initial contacts are with the vehicle bumper and/or the front edge of the hood, depending on the shape of the vehicle structure. When pedestrians are struck by taller vehicles such as SUV’s or pickup trucks, the initial contacts are higher on the body.
    In an NHTSA pedestrian accident study, 40 percent of pedestrian injuries resulted from contact with the vehicle, 32 percent resulted from contact with the ground, and 26 percent resulted from contact with unknown objects.

  • Steve Magas says:

    Kevin
    potholes cases are notoriously difficult but CAN be proven – easier today than ever given the time-stamped version of communication that email provides. Here, we notify the Engineer whenever the tall grass presents a vision issue coming out of our neighborhood. One email reminding the Engineer of the risk of death due to the short sightlines of traffic flying towards our exit point usually gets the weeds clipped the next day!

  • hoffifiedagaininOH says:

    You must be kidding Jackie. This “accident” did not have to happen. Obviously the driver was under the influence, as stated. She should be in jail, period. How could she possibly leave the scene. I lost my sister-in-law to a careless driver speeding around a corner. See statement above by Dan Tudor. What is going on in Geauga County. Who is the prosecutor and why are these people getting away with murder.

  • hoffifiedagaininOH says:

    Susan, how could you possibly place ANY blame on the victim. I lost my sister-in-law, Jennifer Viafora from Chagrin Falls, due to a reckless driver. Fools like you actually placed some blame on her. She was simply walking down her own street when she was struck by a speeding driver. Judge Henry was merely taking a bike ride when he lost his life. What is wrong with you people. This person was under the influence she committed murder as did the person who hit Jennifer. He was a reckless driver as he was in the past and was told to slow down thru the neighborhood. he ignored those requests and murdered someone, as this woman did.

  • Steve Magas says:

    @Horrified – no one is getting away with murder here. After a couple of months, a sealed indictment was filed against Kelly Cox, alleging a huge BAC. She has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and six other crimes.

  • Steve Magas says:

    @horrified – the word “murder” is not in play here, legally, although it may feel like it. Here, Kelly Cox has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. Absent evidence that she aimed the car at the Judge and purposely ran him over, this is the most severe crime the prosecutor can charge.

  • hoffifiedagaininOH says:

    I understand. I have been following the case of Judge Henry as my sister-in-law was killed by a person speeding in her own neighborhood in Chagrin falls. See the reference above by Dan Tudor.
    The prosecutor on this case seems to be more on the ball, as it took well over a year for the accident reconstruction and there was terrible errors in the report. The defendant rec’d what I consider a “slap on the hand” and continues on his merry way, as we try to pick up the pieces and carry on with our lives. Jennifer’s life was taken and my brother’s life has been destroyed I use the words murder because that is what it feels like when someone deliberately speeds down a 25 Mph cul-de-sac and kills someone.

  • hoffifiedagaininOH says:

    also, the driver was charged with Vehicular homicide also, but the charges were reduced. We did not get justice at all.

  • geauga resident says:

    tl;dr all comments-

    in my personal opinion, this is such a tragedy for geauga county the entire court/ police system is probably so heartbroken and shocked they are collectively traumatized and hence frozen in action as far as follow up investigations and prosecutions.
    chip was seriously the man, when it came down to it. to any familiar resident of our BEAUTIFUL locale we are aware of how resiliant our pd and municiapl systems can be when it comes to..well not limited to incriminating, but also being great at their jobs. as “anti-authoritarian” as my personal views go, i still love love love my geauga boys. the fact is, this case is TOO PERSONAL for our local system to process, and it is unfair to rest it on the shoulders of anyone experiencing personal grief, as i firmly believe all of geauga is. geauga should not have to process this case alone, but call in a neighboring judicial system to continue the case, with geauga as a standing advisory as developments emerge, similar to when a judge when faced with a case in which personal bias may affect impartial objective judgment, you frequently ask a nearby judge to “answer the call of duty”.
    I think this is the only way our own geauga hearts can be saved from further trauma while still bringing some sense of legal closure to this horror.

  • Jackie says:

    If the driver was that drunk you would have arrested the driver there. It was an accident. It can happen to anyone. I’m sure the driver didn’t do it on purpose. You people are assuming things, get the story straight.

  • Jackie says:

    And again this really could happen to ANYONE. I mean really 3 times over the limit, you would have arrested the driver there. So yes, I think it was a complete accident. The driver did the right thing by returning the kids so they didn’t have to see anymore then they already saw. I feel bad for the judge’s family too. But in the photo above the body hit the middle of the window. Come on, the judge had NO reflectors on and was wearing black clothes. That is no road to ride a bike on either. I keep both families in my prayers.

  • Steve Magas says:

    Jackie – At first I thought you were being facetious… being 3x over the alcohol limit is NOT an accident – it’s intentional. The driver did the WRONG WRONG WRONG thing by
    – Drinking and driving
    -Drinking and driving with kids in the car
    – Drinking to a 0.28% BAC and driving
    – Intentionally driving while drunk
    – Driving recklessly
    – Driving stupidly
    – KILLING A MAN
    – Leaving the scene.

    There is no “It’s ok to take the kids home” rule in the law. By leaving the scene of this crash she may have contributed more to Judge Henry’s death. She also COMMITTED ANOTHER CRIME by leaving the scene. She destroyed a crime scene. Did you SEE the pictures of the front of the car? The windshield was SMASHED IN… and she LEFT?

    No, this could NOT happen to “ANYONE.” Only to people stupid, reckless and uncaring enough to drink MANY drinks and drive…

  • Steve Magas says:

    Ummm… Jackie – according to the indictment she WAS “that drunk” – 0.28% BAC is one HUGE drunk – But, some drunks handle liquor in a more socially acceptable way. I did research for a case once and found a study where people with BACs as high as 0.30% were able to fool E/R doctors into thinking that they were not drunk. The fact that someone can ACT not drunk does not mean anything. We know that alcohol impairs every single skill we need to drive a car – vision, reflexes, brain function, our ability to make decisions, our ability to analyze visual cues… at a .28% BAC, it would be shocking if this lady WASN’T wandering all over the road, “seeing” raccoons that don’t exist…

    We don’t know what happened at the scene. Remember, SHE LEFT THE SCENE and we don’t know when. Obviously, suspicions were raised because blood was taken at some point because there was a blood test which was analyzed by the crime lab which tells us what her BAC was…

  • Steve Magas says:

    Geauga Resident – thank you for your comments – we now know that a Visiting Judge was appointed because all local judges “recused” themselves – i.e, said they could not handle the case for personal reasons. We also know now that local folks were not “frozen” but were investigating the case with the alcohol issues at the forefront. They filed a “sealed” indictment, got a visiting judge an announced the charges. All in all, a lot of hard work behind the scenes…

  • Scotty says:

    Jackie… PLEASE tell me you are joking. You say in your ridiculous comments that “It could happen to anyone”. You say it not only once… but twice! I guess you are right in that it could happen to anyone who goes out and drinks to the point of being 3 and 1/2 times the legal limit! And even if he was wearing black… how did she not see a man on a bike in her lane in clear conditions and daylight? I’ll tell you how. She was DRUNK. First it was a “man coming out of nowhere”… then a raccoon… then a deer… then a mailbox.

    And you cannot leave the scene of a crime for ANY reason. Now she opens herself up to claiming she went HOME and drank… and then returned to the crime scene.

    The only way this was an accident is if somehow they made a mistake on the breathalyzer or blood test…. which is HIGHLY unlikely.

  • Jackie says:

    Again if she was that drunk the driver would be sick! I’m not standing up for what I believe. There is no way the driver was that drunk, the police would have arrested her there! How do you know the judge wasn’t riding in the middle of the road, you don’t know that! So again, my heart goes out to both families.

  • Jackie says:

    Yes again it was good for the kids she left the scene. The kids didn’t need to see that. You people are making up stories, there are so many people that don’t believe she was that drunk. I don’t believe it. I don’t know the driver but I’ve heard she was a nice lady, loved her kids! She wouldn’t drive drunk. I was researching and if you leave the blood sit it turns into alcohol. Again a total ACCIDENT. If it were you or I it would be different, she hit a judge though. Yes it was a horrible loss but again it’s no road to ride a bike on. Judge had no reflectors, no helmet. Let’s not all sit here and say what the driver did wrong, the judge could have done wrong too.

  • Steve Magas says:

    Jackie – What evidence do you have that “there is no way the driver was THAT DRUNK?” Wait… I know… NONE. What we are looking at is the full police report, the scene photos and the indictment, which contains allegations of alcohol levels. Those allegations are based on forensic toxicology studies…. so… maybe you’re right, they tested the wrong blood… they screwed up the test… maybe they misplaced the decimal point… but I can tell you that based on the FACTS we have so far, YES, she WAS THAT DRUNK.

    As for the judge being “in the middle of the road” –
    1. It DOESN’T MATTER – he is ALLOWED to ride on the roadway. He was ENTITLED to be SEEN and to NOT BE RUN OVER.
    2. Based, again, on the forensic evidence at the scene, the photos of the car and the point of impact between the car and the bike, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the initial impact between car and bike occurred roughly 2 feet 11″ from the white line – The width of the entire road was 20’6″, so each lane was around 10’3″ and the Judge was less than 1/3 of the way into the lane – basically, he was riding exactly where one who teaches bicycling for adults would suggest he be riding – off the white line, a few feet into the road, but not in the middle of the lane, where the oil from traffic tends to accumulate…

  • Steve Magas says:

    Jackie
    Get this in your brain – it is ILLEGAL, a crime, to leave the scene of an accident and where someone dies and you hit them, it can be a FELONY. Kids or no kids. Drunk or no drunk. You MUST stay on the scene or you commit a crime.

    No one is making up stories – we are reporting what is contained in the indictment. Her blood alcohol was reported by the prosecutor, after a forensic examination, to be more than THREE TIMES THE LEGAL LIMIT. She may have been a “nice lady” but on this day she was a DRUNK lady who intentionally CHOSE to drive her kids around while drunk…

    Again, this crash and Judge Henry’s death were NOT an “accident” but the very real and foreseeable result of the intentional act of drinking alcohol then getting into a car and driving. The DRIVER did EVERYTHING wrong. Judge Henry was, in the words of the OSHP, “blameless” here…

  • Steve Magas says:

    Jackie, there is research out there showing that people with much higher BACs than Kelly Cox not only don’t get “sick” but actually can APPEAR normal – they can fool bartenders and they can even fool doctors! I don’t know anything about Kelly Cox other than what I have seen in the police report and the indictment. They don’t usually screw up blood results THAT badly, so I think we can assume that .28% BAC is a good number. So yes, she was “that drunk.”

    The issue with “black clothes” and “reflectors” is, again, a so what. There is no requirement that cyclists dress like a peacock… although many do. There is no evidence that a reflector wasn’t smashed to bits in the crash, or that one would have made one wits worth of difference here – she DIDN”T SEE A GROWN MAN… I think it’s reasonable to assume she wouldn’t have seen a grown man with a reflector in the daylight…

  • Jackie says:

    And I feel bad for the judge’s family to. Yes the driver has to live with knowing she took someones life away. Its not right you people are calling her stupid. Possibly anything could have happend. We dont know if the judge did wrong, we just don’t know. No one would hit anyone on purpose. Think about it. I’m not trying to fight with you guys here but I’m just saying, how I feel.

  • Steve Magas says:

    Again, I’m not saying she is stupid – I don’t know Kelly Cox. I DO know she made a stupid decision to drive drunk. There is little the judge could have done wrong, frankly. The witnesses who saw him just before impact reported nothing unusual. He was just out for a bike ride. He had the right of way. He was just riding down the road and get clobbered by a drunk driver… My argument with your comments is that you don’t seem to understand that this lady was drunk and this was NOT an “accident” – it was 100% completely avoidable – a tragedy caused solely by the motorist. My argument is also with your statement that it was “OK” to leave the scene of a deadly crash because there were children in the car. That’s 100% wrong. Your children are much better if they see you facing up to your legal responsibilities than running away from them…

  • Jackie says:

    The kids were little, they didn’t need too see that. *** You know nothing about this lady. They had to of screwed the blood test up. There is no way. Again that is no road to ride a bike on.

  • Jackie says:

    Did they give the judge a test?

  • Steve Magas says:

    Jackie – this is silly- a drunk driver, or a sober one, does not get to pick and choose which crashes they have to stop at. Here, she KILLED A MAN AND LEFT THE SCENE – that’s a felony. The step daughter was quoted in the police report – Ms. Cox was on the phone with her husband and said she thought she hit something and her child said “I think you hit SOMEONE” – the kids did NOT need to be in a car, driving away from a fatal crash with a woman who was too drunk to know that she hit and killed a human being…

    As to whether the judge was “tested” – there’s been no report whatsoever that he was in any way riding erratically. The OHio State Highway Patrol came out and said he was “BLAMELESS” – their word, not mine – so it’s safe to assume that alcohol was NOT a factor for Judge Henry here…

  • Irene says:

    You are correct, the facts will speak for themselves…at TRIAL!!
    I can’t wait to see that drunk careless excuse for a mother put away for a long time. Karma sucks, doesn’t it Kelly? Hope you look good in orange and enjoy picking up trash along the highway. Hope you don’t get hit by someone as drunk as you were the night you killed Judge Henry.

  • Jackie says:

    Okay, but again they should have tested the judge. The judge could have done just as much as the driver did. We don’t know! No one will ever know what happend!

  • horrifiedagaininOH says:

    Jackie, you must either be related to Kelly Cox or just plain stupid.
    She has committed a crime and must be punished for it. How dare you place any blame on the victim. I don’t know either party, but what I do know is she was driving the car and he was riding a bike.
    She had the responsibility of avoiding him. She was so drunk she didn’t he realize she hit him. How do you drive (with your young children) a car with a smashed window? If she believed she hit a mailbox or some animal and did that much damage, why didn’t she pull over and call police anyway. She put her children in danger again by driving a car with limited visibility. I saw the video of her in court. she is pathetic.

  • horrifiedagaininOH says:

    also, you have the nerve to ask if the judge was tested. what don’t you understand. he is gone. His life was cut short. He will never get to enjoy his family again. he was taken in a brutal , painful way.
    how dare you continue to make excuses for this woman. people like you really make me angry.

  • Jackie says:

    I’m not related to her but I know for a fact she is not pathetic, that was wrong of you to say that!

  • Steve Magas says:

    “Pathetic” is a subjective descriptor –
    “1. Arousing pity, esp. through vulnerability or sadness.
    “2. Miserably inadequate”

    Both apply here –

  • horrifiedagaininOH says:

    How would you describe her? The above definition describes her very well, from the scenes in the courtroom.

  • Scotty says:

    I think it’s time we stop responding to Jackie. We are getting no where. She refuses to understand that it’s not an ACCIDENT when you run over someone when you are driving a car drunk. And she seems to want to put the blame on this poor innocent Judge who was simply out for a bike ride.

    Again, first she said “in the blink of an eye, there was someONE on the road”. Then she said it was a mailbox. Then she said it was a deer. This, to me, sounds like someone too drunk to get her story straight.

  • Scotty says:

    And also Jackie… they DID test the judge. And surprise!! He was clean. Here are the results:

    “Joyce said Henry’s test showed that he had consumed caffeine and Cox’s test showed a blood alcohol level of .284, which is more than three times the .08 legal limit.”

  • Dee says:

    To whomever is claiming the judge was wearing black and not visible: the police said he was wearing a red shirt. I suppose they would know since they were there.

  • Polly Henry Whiting says:

    Hi Mr. Magas,
    It’s Polly Henry Whiting, Chip’s little sister, again. I’ve been keeping up to date with what is going on in Kelly Cox’s case by checking in to the clerk of courts records search once in a while. This morning I checked and there was some new stuff posted:

    09/08/2011 MOTION ORDERING THAT REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF DEF’S BLOOD BE PROVIDED TO DEFENDSE EXPERTS FOR INDEPENDENT TESTING FILED. Attorney: MAREIN, MARK B (0008118)

    09/09/2011 CLARIFICATION OF DEFENSE REQUEST TO HAVE BLOOD SAMPLE TESTED AT AN INDEPENDENT LAB FILED. Attorney: JOYCE, DAVID P (0022437)

    09/09/2011 SUPPLEMENTAL DISCOVERY FILED.

    Do you know what this means? I’m pretty sure it means that Marein wants to have the blood tested by an independent blood tester, and Joyce is asking for clarification.

    What I KNOW is that Marein already asked for the blood way BEFORE indictment, and he was granted the sample. So I’m thinking this is just the beginning of the stalling that will take place in order to keep his client out of prison for as long as possible. I was hoping you might be able to give me some thoughts (off the record of your blog of course.) Thank you. Polly

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