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Parma man dies in Tallmadge car crash that ends in Summit Racing parking lot

Van drives off road, strikes utility pole, tree and seven parked cars in lot at Summit Racing.

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published: February 3, 2013 12:00 AM
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Tallmadge -- Police and the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office are continuing their investigation of a Jan. 28 vehicle crash on Southeast Avenue that resulted in the death of the driver.

Tallmadge Police Information Officer Lt. Ron Williams said roads were icy around 9 a.m. when Kenneth J. Miller, 43, of Parma, was driving his van southbound in the 1200 block of Southeast Avenue. The van left the right side of the road and hit a utility pole, tree and seven unoccupied cars in the employee parking lot of Summit Racing.

The vehicle, said Williams, spun 1 1/2 times, during which Miller was ejected through the passenger window. His body was found several feet from the van, which came to rest, facing northbound, on top of the parked cars. He was confirmed dead at the scene.

Gary Gunther, chief investigator at the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office, said Miller died of blunt force trauma to the head and chest, and because he was ejected, it doesn't appear he was wearing a seat belt.

Williams said police believe Miller was driving between 60 to 69 mph in the 35 mph zone.

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Multiple witnesses told police that before the crash, Miller was driving at a high rate of speed and ran the red light at the Six Corners intersection. Other witnesses told police Miller was driving erratically while passing their vehicles.

"I guess there was icy slush in the center lane, and he had started to fishtail while passing cars. He actually went left of center into traffic, didn't hit anybody, but then came all the way back across when he got down to Summit Racing. And that's where he crossed and went off the road and hit the utility pole, the tree and then the cars," said Williams.

Investigators don't know why Miller was driving in that manner or why he was in the area.

"The 'why' may never be answered; nobody really knows why," Williams said.

Calling hours have been scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at Busch Funeral Home, 7501 Ridge Road, Parma.

A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. Feb. 5 at the funeral home, followed by inurnment at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park.

Email: hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9428

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