December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria man killed in mishap at salvage yard

EATON TWP. — The death Saturday of a man working on an old school bus at a Royalton Road salvage company was an accident and will be investigated by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, according to Lorain County Sheriff’s Capt. John Reiber.

Raymond T. Draper, 55, of Elyria, died at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland after being struck by a portion of the bus at Reed Salvage shortly before noon, according to a sheriff’s report.

The business’s operator, Craig Reed, told deputies he and Draper had placed the bus on its side and were separating the frame from the body of the bus using a front-end loader, but the rear end of the frame stayed connected to the body, according to the report.

Reed said he continued to pull with the loader and Draper ran underneath the rear end of the frame. Draper, Reed told deputies, probably was trying to see what was holding the frame to the body.

But as Draper started to pass under the frame rails, the frame snapped free, causing it to slam down, the report stated.

The muffler and tail pipe struck Draper in the head with a great deal of force and Reed said he saw Draper “bounce off the ground,” according to the report.

A witness, John Ward, said he was 40 to 50 feet away when the bus “came down” on Draper, according to the report.

Another witness, Billy Smith, said he heard a loud “pop” after Draper ran under the frame, the report said.

Smith said he saw the tailpipe hit Draper in the forehead.

Reed began yelling for help and Reed’s son performed CPR until Eaton Township firefighters/emergency medical technicians arrived.

A representative of OSHA was unavailable Thursday to comment on the status of the investigation. A man who answered the phone at Reed Salvage declined comment Thursday.

Draper, an Elyria resident for 33 years, is survived by his wife, Sharon; two daughters, Courtney Evanich of Elyria and Mallory Draper of Lorain; one son, Craig Draper of Elyria; six grandchildren, Brandon, Katelin, Gabriel, Michael, Jayden and Cole and his mother, Arletha Draper of North Ridgeville.

The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. today until the time of a memorial service at 8 p.m. at the Liston Funeral Home, 36403 Center Ridge Road, North Ridgeville.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.