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Suicide ruled out as possibility in fatal crash

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Jul 13, 2019 at 10:00 PM

Answers to questions about a recent fatal accident remain elusive.

State Highway Patrol Sgt. Brian Gockstetter said the June 28 crash remains under investigation and that the report has not been completed.

Troopers are trying to determine what caused 75-year-old C. L. Jones, of Greenwich, to exit his vehicle on Ohio 162, just moments before a school bus crashed into him and the vehicle.

“Currently, we don’t have any substantial information that tells us why he exited the vehicle,” Gockstetter said. “We’re still working on interviews but, with the current information, we can’t know for sure.”

The sergeant said “there’s nothing that indicates” Jones was attempting to take his own life in the act. He said they don’t have any reason to believe suicide might have been a factor.

“We’re looking at mechanical reasons or seeing if there was something in the roadway. That’s hard to know for sure. Unfortunately. right now there’s only one person who knows why he got out of the vehicle and he’s not here to tell us.”

Another unknown in the case is whether Willard City Schools bus driver Rosalie A. Keesy, 47, of Willard, will face charges. Gockstetter said the case will be sent to the law director’s office for consideration of charges once the investigation is complete. Gockstetter said he couldn’t comment on whether the department expects her to face criminal charges. 

“We anticipate getting more answers and having the case finalized and over to the law director’s office in the next week or two,” he said. 

At about 5:46 p.m., Jones stopped his 2004 Dodge Dakota in the westbound lane of Ohio 162 and began to exit the vehicle. A Willard school bus crashed into the rear of the vehicle. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said.

In an earlier interview, Willard City Schools Superintendent Jeff Ritz said there isn’t a whole lot he can say while the investigation is ongoing.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to all involved, especially the family of Mr. Jones,” he said. “We are waiting for the results of the investigation. We will move forward at that point.”

Keesy suffered minor cuts and abrasions as a result of the crash, troopers said.

That afternoon, Keesy had been transporting students who attend a school for migrant workers’ families. However, Keesey had already dropped off her last passenger prior to the accident.

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