November 26, 2014


Coroner: Substance, medical problems possible in North Ridgeville fatal crash

Emergency personnel work the scene Monday night of a fatal crash on Avon-Belden Road in North Ridgeville. KRISTIN BAUER

Emergency personnel work the scene Monday night of a fatal crash on Avon-Belden Road in North Ridgeville. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

NORTH RIDGEVILLE – A man who died Monday night after driving his SUV through a field and striking a tree may have had a medical problem or been impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Brian Rummel, 49, of North Ridgeville, was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple injuries of the head, chest and neck, according to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans.

“Bystanders said he was driving erratically beforehand, which indicates he may have had medical problems, or substance issues, which could also do that,” Evans said.

Rummel was alone in the vehicle.

One person who was following Rummel on state Route 83 (Avon-Belden Road) told police the man’s northbound Kia SUV appeared to have been weaving slightly before going off the road between Atlantic and Dorchester avenues.

“It was kind of a strange accident in that there appeared to be no braking or evasive measures taken to swerve back onto the road,” North Ridgeville Police Capt. Marti Garrow said. “He traveled a straight line for quite a distance through a field, which would have likely woken him if he had fallen asleep. There’s a good chance it was something medical.”

After traveling through the open field, Rummel’s vehicle came to an inclined driveway which sent the SUV airborne before landing on its roof, Garrow said.

The vehicle came to rest about 15 yards from a home in the 5400 block of Avon-Belden Road.

A neighbor said police found Rummel lying partially outside the vehicle. It was not immediately known whether he was wearing a seatbelt.

Police are also investigating whether Rummel may have been speeding.

“He may have been speeding but we’re not sure to what extent,” Garrow said. “It doesn’t appear to have been anything really fast or reckless.”

There is a 45 mph speed limit in the area.

The fatal crash occurred about 7:50 p.m. and led to shutting down Routes 83 and 20 for about two hours.

Police Lt. Vince Abt said Rummel had a daughter who resided in the area but she had not yet been contacted by police.

Rummel’s parents, who live in another state, met with police Tuesday, Abt said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or

  • Ashley Rummel

    How dare you post this!!! You need to respect my father and my family & do not start rumors! God help you people!

    • Greg Moore

      So sorry for your loss….

  • Dan D

    Brian was a great guy. I will miss his laughter and smile. My prayers are with his family.

  • patty

    Shame on You Mr Fogarty! This is poor journalism. Pure Speculation and guessing. Brian was one of the sweetest guys I have had the pleasure of knowing. He and his family do not deserve this negative attention. Shame on you.

  • Greg Moore

    Brian was a great guy who doesn’t deserve someone to speculate on a tragic accident.

  • proccw

    thoughts and prayers to the rummel family. sorry for your loss

  • Missy Lightner

    Mr. Fogarty, not only was printing that picture offensive, it was insensitive to all family members involved. Would you feel it was appropriate had that been your brother, father, or son? Whatever happened to “still under investigation?” Not sensational enough?

  • Bob Sweatt

    Let me start by saying I feel for the family.

    But why are you coming down on Steve Fogarty. He only wrote what others have said. You want to be mad, be mad at Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans.He is the one that said it. Call his office and complain to him. But don’t be mad at a man for doing his job as a journalist

    • Mike C.

      He didn’t do his job as a journalist. The WHOLE article is speculation, pure and simple. What happened to journalist ethics? If he was doing his job as you say, why weren’t the names of the bystanders mentioned, or the officers that were at the scene? This should continue to be ” under investigation”. The Lorain County Coroner is just as bad, speculating on what happened.
      The fact of the matter is a GOOD man died, and when all the questions are answered THEN and ONLY then should an article be written. But of course that will take time, and then it won’t be a viable news story then.
      I am very sorry that Ashley and her family has to see this black mark on her fathers name in their time of great pain and sorrow.

      • Bob Sweatt

        I beg to differ. Any Blood work should be done by the end of the week. Good, bad or indifferent they should know by this weekend if he had anything in his blood stream.

        As for making the story viable. As soon as you find out what actually happened. Make the CT write the story with what really happened.

      • Zen Grouch

        “The WHOLE article is speculation, pure and simple.”

        What’s wrong with that, as long as the speculation isn’t presented as fact?

        • patty

          Tabloid style journalism should be left to celebrities.

          • Zen Grouch

            Yeah, but if nobody reported on “alleged” criminals, until they’re convicted, or any kind of death until the coroner’s report is completed, we’d be lookin’ at some really old news every day.

  • kd

    It seems to me that the police officer clearly states that it was most likely something medical, so I don’t see any reason why the journalist mentions alcohol or drugs. It always seems like they are just trying to spice up the story without a care in the world for the family and friends. I am so sorry for your loss. Stay strong and don’t let people break you down or change your view of your father, brother, or son! God knows the truth and so do you. That is all that matters!

  • Jamie Smith

    My sympathy to Ashley and her Family. There are many speculations and rumors when a tragedy happens. Ashley ignore them and may God comfort you in his loving arms during this trying time. May the wonderful memories of your Father comfort your broken heart and remember he is watching over you from Heaven.