EATON TWP — Two North Ridgeville men died in a car crash around 8:15 p.m. Sunday on North Reed Road north of Brokaw Road off Root Road.
Driver Timothy Keating and passenger Paul Sonego were northbound on North Reed when police said Keating veered right and over a ditch and into a soybean field. The red four-door 1965 Chrysler New Yorker flipped on its roof in a field about 50 yards from where Keating lost control.
Keating, 47, of 9456 Root Road, was thrown from the car and landed about 15 yards east of the vehicle. His body lay in the field around 9:30 p.m. Sunday as troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol Elyria post investigated. Firefighters placed a sheet over the vehicle where Sonego, 55, of 9456 Root Road, was partially inside.
Both men were wearing lap seatbelts, according to Sgt. Christopher Midkiff. The New Yorker didn’t have harness belts, also known as three-point seat belts, which are better than lap belts at keeping drivers and passengers from being thrown from vehicles in crashes.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, but Midkiff said alcohol is believed to have been a factor. He didn’t say why troopers believe that.
After the crash, troopers took measurements on North Reed where Keating lost control. Midkiff said the posted speed limit is between 45 and 55 mph in the area.
North Reed Road resident Matt Thomas, lives near where the crash occurred. Thomas said he was a few houses down the road at a party hosted by his in-laws before the crash. Thomas said he and other partygoers were in the backyard when the New Yorker drove by.
“We said, ‘Man, he’s flying,’ ” Thomas said. “Then, obviously, we could hear the impact.”