Jim Krumel: Hit-and-run driver needs to come forward


By Jim Krumel - jkrumel@limanews.com



Jim Krumel

Jim Krumel


Ethan Howard

Ethan Howard


Somewhere out there is a motorist who Shawnee Township police believe killed 18-year-old Ethan Dakota Howard in a hit-and-run accident.

He knows who he is. And Shawnee police believe they have a good idea, too. It would be a whole lot easier on Ethan’s family, and even the driver himself, if he would come forward. It has to be eating at his conscience every hour of every day. But he continues to tell police he hit a deer that night, not a bicyclist. And so Ethan’s family waits for closure, if there is such a thing for parents who lose a child or for siblings who lose a brother.

The wait has been going on for three weeks now.

The incident occurred on a Saturday night, Oct. 16, on Shawnee Road near Apollo Career Center. It was dark, around 8:20 p.m. Ethan was riding south on his Palomar mountain bicycle, which did not have a rear reflector, according to an accident report filed by police. The driver of a Chevrolet is believed to have been drinking alcohol, the report said. He too was heading south when he came upon Ethan and struck his bike in the rear. The impact caused Ethan to be thrown 170 feet, the police report said.

What was a tragic, terrible accident at that moment became an even worse crime as the driver of the car sped away, not knowing if Ethan was alive or dead. A passing motorist noticed Ethan’s body in the roadway and called 911. Two hours after the crash, the person who police believe drove the hit-and-run car contacted the Shawnee department, saying he struck a deer. The location he gave was near the same spot where Ethan’s body was found.

Maybe it’s all coincidence. Maybe not. But if police are right, the longer this plays out, the worse it’s going to be for the motorist. A person can hide the facts, but he still has to live with himself.

Three days after the crash, Ethan died.

His life was taken too early, but in death he’s helped others live. He was an organ donor during a time when they are in great need. As of Sunday, the United Network for Organ Sharing reported 106,727 people need life-saving organ transplants, and 63,625 are on the active waiting list.

Ethan’s parents, Michelle and Jason Howard, have been told his willingness to be a donor helped save the lives of four people.

That’s the way Ethan was, those who knew him said.

“He always found a way to help someone. This was a kind, big-hearted kid,” said a caller to The Lima News.

To the person who drove that hit-and-run vehicle, don’t leave the family wondering who you are. Don’t do that to them. And don’t do it to yourself.

ROSES AND THORNS: A spot in the rose garden is reserved for a long-time health worker.

Rose: To Debra Finn-Sadler, of Lima. She retired after working 45 years at Lima Memorial Health System as a respiratory therapist. She was known to hold the hands of patients when needed, always putting patient care above everything.

Rose: To Brady Yingst, of Perry High School, and the Minster girls cross country team. Each won state titles Saturday in Division III.

Thorn: A rise in stolen vehicles is taking place in Ottawa. Police say a contributing factor is the number of people who leave their keys in their cars.

Thorn: In an election that guaranteed Lima would have a new mayor, voter turnout was just 27.9% citywide, down from 31.2% four years ago in the last mayoral election.

PARTING SHOT: We all have ability. The difference is how people use it.

Jim Krumel
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Jim-Krumel.jpgJim Krumel
Ethan Howard
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Howard-Ethan.jpgEthan Howard

By Jim Krumel

jkrumel@limanews.com

Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.

Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.

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