April 18, 2014

Elyria
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Pair of Midview graduates killed in separate crashes

GRAFTON — Two Midview High School graduates died in separate and unrelated crashes on Saturday.

Cleveland Metroparks rangers reported that 22-year-old William Fekete, of Elyria, died at St. John Medical Center after a crash Saturday afternoon at the Bradley Woods Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks in Westlake.

Cleveland Metroparks ranger spokeswoman Monica Banks Hines said the cause of the crash is still under investigation. A Mitsubishi sedan full of five people, including Fekete, crashed into a tree around 4:15 p.m. at the reservation.

Two women in the car were taken to Fairview Hospital and listed in critical condition Saturday night, she said. Hines did not release the names of the others involved, including the male driver and another occupant who was taken to Fairview Hospital.

Fekete graduated from Midview High School in 2009, according to an alumni website.

Earlier Saturday, friends and family members mourned the loss of 18-year-old Dominic Zunis of Elyria.

Zunis, a former Middie wrestler with plans to join the U.S. Air Force, crashed a Ford Taurus into a pond around 7:15 a.m. when he apparently ran a stop sign at state Route 57 and drove off the east side of the road near Mennell Road in Grafton Township.

The vehicle was submerged in approximately 10 feet of water, and rescue crews worked almost two hours to recover the vehicle, according to a release from the Ohio Highway Patrol.

A neighbor, Michael McMillan, said he didn’t hear the accident, but a driver behind Zunis knocked on his door after the accident and called 911. He said the man told him that Zunis was traveling around 60 mph, and he did not slow down.

“There was no indication of stopping at all,” he said.

Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. Timmothy Hoffman said alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash, which is still under investigation.

McMillan said the crash site is a dangerous spot as other cars have ended up in the same pond, although the end results haven’t been as tragic.

“What we hope is that the state gets wise and puts a guardrail here,” he said.

Family members declined to speak about Zunis on Saturday, but the owner of Wolfey’s Bistro and Pub, where Zunis worked two years as a food runner, said employees are mourning the loss of a good friend.

“Dominic was an exceptional individual. He was hard-working, very polite and came from a wonderful family,” said Wendy Wolfe, owner of the restaurant.

Wolfe said it was a very somber tone at Wolfey’s after news of the accident.

“He will be deeply missed by his Wolfey’s family,” she said.

Dominic is the son of Terri and David Zunis, a school board member in the Midview district.

Friends and family took to Grafton Grapplers Club’s Facebook page Saturday, offering condolences.

Dominic Zunis was a two-time Division 1 district qualifier at Midview and team captain of the wrestling team his senior year.

In an interview in 2012, Zunis said he began wrestling in second grade, but he hated it. He later came to love the sport in seventh grade, attending summer wrestling camps in high school to improve.

That year, Coach Don Caramell called Zunis a dedicated individual with a lot of heart.

“If it was on heart alone, he’d be a state qualifier,” he said.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.