Michael Richley may have been retrieving his loose dog when he and the dog were fatally struck by a car about 5:25 p.m. Monday on State Rt. 18.
Richley, 51, was killed in front of his Brighton Township home about a mile west of Quarry Road before State Rt. 511.
Neighbor Charles Hook, who lives across from Richley’s home, said Richley adopted dogs from friends and often walked them in the woods behind his house.
Hook said Richley owned three dogs and trained them not to roam. However, Hook said Richley’s dogs occasionally wandered onto his property in the three or four years since Richley moved in.
“You think you have a dog trained and it’s always going to behave, but it’s only a dog,” Hook said. “It sees something it wants to chase, it’s not going to stop to see if there’s a truck coming or it’s past where it’s supposed to be. It’s just going to go.”
Sgt. Tim Hoffman, Ohio Highway Patrol Elyria post assistant commander, said Richley was directly in front of his driveway when hit by an eastbound 2002 Ford Taurus. Richley and the dog were struck by the driver’s side windshield of the Taurus.
The impact threw Richley and the dog down the road. Another driver who was unable to stop ran over the prone dog, Hoffman said.
The Taurus driver, Ray Hughes, 31, of Berlin Heights, wasn’t hurt. Hughes wouldn’t comment after the crash, but Hoffman said Hughes didn’t appear to be at fault and alcohol, drugs, and speed weren’t factors in the crash.
According to Hoffman, Hughes said he had no time to brake before the impact and wasn’t sure what he had hit until stopping. The speed limit is 55 mph where the crash occurred.
Richley was pronounced dead at the scene. About 30 minutes after the crash, the Taurus was parked roughly 50 yards east of where Richley lay in the north side of the road. Firefighters covered his body with a sheet while awaiting Lorain County deputy coroner Frank Miller.
Richley worked in a steel mill in Cleveland and owned apartments in Lakewood where he was originally from, said next-door neighbor Dawn Ridenour.
She last saw Richley about 4 p.m. Monday when he was planting tulips on his property and he was in good spirits. “He was a real sweet guy, good-hearted,” she said.
“He was just a good, kind-hearted person,” said Richley’s sister Jennifer. “A good brother.”
Richley’s Facebook page said he attended Lakewood High School. On Facebook, friend Mark Wargo posted that he and Richley spent time fishing, hunting, cutting firewood, and attending car shows and gun raffles. Wargo said Richley introduced his grandson to the chickens Richley kept on his property.
“He was one of the most fun-loving and caring friends we had,” said Wargo, of Lorain. “He will be greatly missed by all.”
Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440=775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.
Photos by Evan Goodenow | Wellington Enterprise The Ford Taurus involved in a fatal crash Monday on State Rt. 18 in Brighton Township is examined by troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol Elyria post.