September 16, 2014

Elyria
Sunny
62°F
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Vigil planned for crash survivors

EATON TWP. – A candlelight vigil will be held 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesday for Lorain County sheriff’s Cpl. Thomas Brian Tomasheski and his 13-year-old daughter, Danielle Tomasheski, who were hospitalized following a June 11 crash that killed Tomasheski’s wife, Tammy, and their 11-year-old son, Tommy.

The vigil will be in the traffic circle in front of Midview North Elementary, 13070 Durkee Road, and will be moved inside the school if it rains, according to Jessica Preston, one of the organizers.

“We can all lean on each other,” said Preston, who knew Tammy from Midview Youth Football. “A lot of it is for the kids.”

The youth football league is providing candles for the vigil, which is expected to draw several hundred people, and grief counselors will be available.

The Sheriff’s Office auxiliary will coordinate traffic and parking and people might want to park in the nearby middle school parking lot, she said.

Meanwhile, corrections officers and deputies have sold some 500 T-shirts bearing the words “Faith, Family, Friends and Service” in hopes of helping the family in any way they can, said Sgt. Greg Tomlin, who works alongside Tomasheski as a supervisor at the county jail.

“He’s my partner; he’s a great guy,” Tomlin said of Tomasheski, who remained Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland with leg and internal injuries. He was listed in critical condition.

Danielle Tomasheski was listed in critical, but stable, condition at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland on Monday.

Tomlin said another corrections supervisor, Cpl. Andy Laubenthal, designed the logo, which includes helping hands forming a heart.

Laubenthal, who painted signs before becoming a corrections officer, said he just made a design and Gary Zwiezinski of Z Graphics got the logo ready to put on shirts.

The shirts cost $10 and come in sizes small to 3X, and some sizes larger than that may be available soon, Laubenthal said. He said he hopes they can raise $10,000 from the effort to assist the family.

The first printing of 400 shirts nearly sold out, and a second printing of another 400 shirts is being sold 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the reception area at the Sheriff’s Office and jail at 9896 Murray Ridge Road in Elyria.

Laubenthal said he also will be selling shirts at Jaime’s Flea Market in South Amherst on Wednesday and Saturday during market hours.

Everyone is hoping for the best and doing what they can, according to Tomlin and Laubenthal.

“I still can’t process why something like this would happen,” Tomlin said. “In a blink of an eye you lose half your family – it’s hard to imagine.”

Laubenthal said Tomasheski “sets a good example for all in how he lives his life.”

“He gives an immense amount of time to his church, with his family and in his community and anything we can do to help the family in this time of need we’ll do,” he said.

The moms and dads at Midview Youth Football and other organizations connected with the Midview Schools feel the same way, Preston said.

Preston worked alongside Tammy Tomasheski in the football organization and can recall Tom helping her more than once when she absent-mindedly locked herself out of her van. She didn’t even know that Tom worked at the Sheriff’s Office; she just knew that he was an incredibly nice person who helped her get into her vehicle.

She said her 13-year-old son Trey knows Danielle Tomasheski and was devastated to hear about the crash in a text message sent to the Preston family by Tom Miller, an umpire for Hot Stove baseball.

Miller himself heard about the crash while en route from a game with his son Travis and said “it was the most quiet, devastating ride they had ever taken,” she said.

In addition to the fundraisers, a memorial fund has been set up at First Place Bank for the Tomasheskis. Donations may be made at any branch.

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