July 31, 2014

Elyria
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Passenger warned about driver in fatal Eaton Twp. crash

Ohio State Highway Patrol and Eaton Township Fire Department respond to a single car crash that killed two men last night on North Reed Road in Eaton Township.  CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Ohio State Highway Patrol and Eaton Township Fire Department respond to a single car crash that killed two men last night on North Reed Road in Eaton Township. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

EATON TWP – A brother of fatal crash victim Paul D. Sonego said he repeatedly warned him not to ride with fellow fatal crash victim Timothy Keating.

Mark Sonego said Keating, who crashed his 1965 Chrysler New Yorker around 8:15 p.m. Sunday on North Reed Road with Paul Sonego riding along, had a “death wish.” Keating and Paul Sonego were next door neighbors in the 9000 block of Root Road in North Ridgeville, about three miles from the crash site.

The Sonego family said Keating had been depressed and suicidal since his 2012 divorce and was a heavy drinker. They said he frequently rode his motorcycle through the neighborhood at high speeds.

“He was like a ticking time bomb,” said Paul A. Sonego, Paul Sonego’s son.

They said Sonego tried to look out for Keating but resisted driving with him. Mark Sonego said he talked his brother out of driving with Keating on several occasions.

“I said, ‘Paul, you want to help the guy and be nice because that’s your nature?’ Then do that but don’t hang with him,’” Mark Sonego said Monday. “I think Paul, just being the kind-hearted soul that he is, jumped in.”

Fatal crash victim Paul D. Sonego, right, with his son, Paul A. Sonego, at the North Ridgeville High School senior prom in may. From left are Sue Sonego and Britany Ries. PHOTO PROVIDED

Paul D. Sonego, right, is shown with his wife, Sue Sonego, Brittany Ries and son, Paul A. Sonego, at the North Ridgeville High School senior prom in may. PHOTO PROVIDED

Sue Sonego, Paul Sonego’s wife, said her husband, an executive chef for AVI Food Systems Inc., was cooking ribs and corn at a neighbor’s house when Keating rode up on a golf cart and asked Sonego to ride with him around 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

Keating was just south of Brokaw Road when he swerved right off the road over a ditch and flipped the New Yorker on its hood about 50 yards north from where he lost control, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol Elyria post. Trooper Ryan Pischel, the crash investigator, said a beer can was found at the scene and alcohol is believed to have contributed to the crash. A witness told the Chronicle-Telegram that Keating appeared to be speeding just before the crash.

Pischel said witnesses said an all-terrain vehicle was seen at the crash site, but police are unsure if Keating swerved to avoid it or the ATV showed up after the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

Sonego, 55, was one of four brothers who were raised in Parma. Sonego had a knack for cooking and was well organized, according to Mark Sonego, who said his brother ran the family restaurant at an early age.

Paul Sonego married in 1993 and moved to Root Road in 1997 where Keating, 47, was already living. Keating, an elevator and escalator mechanic for the Kone Corp., was the father of a 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. Keating married in 1999, according to Julie Keating, his ex-wife.

While the Sonego’s described Timothy Keating as troubled, Julie Keating said he was in good spirits when she spoke to him Saturday. She denied he was troubled and described the divorce as amicable.

Keating described her ex-husband as “charming” and “outgoing” and a hardworking, loving father. “He was a good man,” she said.

Paul Sonego also was recalled fondly. The younger Sonego, 19, said he and his father had a heart-to-heart discussion about two weeks ago. Paul A. Sonego, a former sprinter at North Ridgeville High School, was leaving for Walsh University in North Canton where he earned an academic and athletic scholarship.

The elder Sonego said he was proud of his son.

“I’m just fortunate he was able to see me go to college and be on track to be a successful man,” Sonego said.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call the Ohio Highway Patrol Elyria post at (440) 365-5045.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com

  • Sue Lawson

    So sad. My prayers for the families.

  • Amy Scott

    I can’t imagine not seeing Paul every weekday…brightening my day, joking with me in his hilariously sarcastic way. Paul, if you can hear us up there…you know what an impact you made EVERY DAY on those of us lucky enough to work with you. Thank you for always being there to help me out of jams and accommodating every goofy request I threw your way. I can’t even explain how much you will be missed…and remembered.

  • Mark Peterlin

    If anyone saw anything even if you think its nothing please call the police.

    • janiem

      well aparently the police are not taking the witnesses statements seriously..because several people seen the quad racing down the street at about 60 mph with the real nice chrysler chasing behind it seconds later, it is NOT possible that the quad was not involved in some way at all,and that was put into statements,the quad then took off down brokaw without stopping,also these lil punks are known on our road, for pulling out in front of cars on our street,then taking off like its funny!!! so maybe they picked the wrong car to pull out in front of and these men were mad,i guarentee they caused that car to swerve off the road by just sitting there,playing a friggen game.dont worry justice will be served,because we are going to the police, demanding they take yet another statement that will give the exact info as the first one did,with a complete description of the quad,and the skinny lil punk with no shirt on,and his blonde girlfriend..i assure you that the exact written statements were already made..my family went to try and save them,and they could not get him out of the vehicle that was on fire.i am sorry for your loss,and even sorrier for the ignorance of some of the people in our township,talking about something they didnt witness,and have no idea what they are talking about.that being in regards to the people responding on the previous article from this lovely newspaper.

      • Mark Peterlin

        Thank you Janiem
        My wife works with the Keating brothers don’t let the police blow you off.if they won’t hear you out let me know I have a personal contact with 19 action news I’ve been quite on this out of respect
        For the family but if needed I will call the media.
        GOD BLESS

        • RCSII

          Hello? 19 Action News? Yes, I would like you to do a story about two friends of mine that were killed because the mentally unstable driver was drinking and driving at a high rate of speed when he crashed. They were also unlawfully chasing kids on a quad running up and down the street….. Oh, and could you make the two deceased men in the car look like saints so we can blame it on the quad driver being unlawfully pursued? (Click, Dial tone) Hello? Hello? Are you there?

          • janiem

            nope..not smart at al!! totally da da dummm..haha thats why,i dropped outta high school at 15 and decided to move to eaton township,so i could fit in real good with the rest of ya high school drop out,sheep lovin,redneck,dumb sh*ts that clearly do not realize that, i am no way shape or form,saying it was only the quads fault,it was both,more so towards the intoxicated driver,however i do have a heart,and do not think it is fair to the victims,or the families,to only tell half truths of the story,and anyone at fault should have to suffer some form of consequence..i do not condone drinking,and driving,and had these fellas lived,i would hope and pray,they would be locked up for ever..now if you will excuse me cornfed & inbred,i have to get back to being “not smart” and what not….good day snookums

      • Pete

        So the driver sped after the 4-wheeler? They were angry at them so they illegally chased them down the road and wrecked? How is it any ones fault but their own? Road rage and drinking, two fatal decisions. I see the driver is being attacked now, wonder what family is trashing this guy that can’t defend himself.

      • RCSII

        Janiem, you’re obviously not very smart. When are you going to STOP finding fault with everyone else and face reality? Alcohol, unlawful pursuit, high speed, mentally unstable driver caused this accident. What would have hapened if they hit those kids on the quad and killed them? Lets not forget they risked innocent lives during a holiday weekend by driving at a high rate of speed.

      • Leah Nici Sonego

        Yes, I am tired of the ignorance of everyone on this blog. Commenting of “facts” that didn’t even occur. The police told our family that the 4-wheeler stopped to help. When they realized that their wasn’t anything they could do, they sped off to get help. Do you have the toxicology results back? The police don’t so I don’t know how anyone can pass judgment. I suggest all of you bloggers find out the facts of the investigation, that is still under investigation, before you decide to put fault on anyone.

        • janiem

          oh, facts that did not occur?.oh that’s right,you were there,and you seen it,i forgot..silly me…whatever,be stupid if you wish to..oh wait,maybe you are determined to go after the keaton family.. right?,since you all, are bashing them..maybe a lil law suite against the drivers family?..ahhh ha!! i get it now.. well if the “quad” was only going for help sweet heart, then please tell me why the police are calling several people on reed rd.for a description of the quad,and the dirt bike??? oh dear me,i don’t think that lil law suites gonna work out for you after all..shucks.

  • Rick Schott

    Uncle Paul, I’m going to miss the good times we used to have together. It is sad to see you go like this. I wish we could have spent more time together. You always made me laugh, and were my favorite funny uncle!! I will cherish all of the good memories that I have. I know that you are looking down on our family from heaven wishing all the best for us.
    Love,
    Your Nephew Artie

  • Deborah

    Let’s all slow down! Until the toxicology results are revealed, let’s stop saying he was drunk. No one knows this for sure. Also, stop with the accusations of Tim’s mental state. Unless you knew him and knew him well, you should not be making those statements. Tim has 2 beautiful children and a loving family that do not ever need to hear this or read this about their father and family member that they loved and adored. Please just keep these thoughts to yourselves. It is such a tragic loss for both families.

    • DMK

      Everyone is so quick to judge Tim. Just because they found ONE beer can in a field that probably has other trash thrown all over, he was drunk. Instead of wasting your time speculating as to what may or may not have happend that night, try saying a prayer for everyone involved. The familes need to grieve and not see this mud slinging going on. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. The only thing that matters is that two people lost their lives that night and they both have familes that love them and miss them.

  • HermanL22

    So very shocked to read this. Paul was a wonderful, fun-loving, hilarious man who would do anything for anyone. Sue, I am so very sorry for your loss. God bless you.

  • Doug Michel

    To all people involved in this tragic event I am truly sorrowful for you all. Tim you will be missed by many. You people should quit the hate and show love to the families on both sides.
    May GOD give you all peace and understanding….

    • Wendi Cash

      Amen! Rest peacefully Tim and Paul.

  • Lynn

    My thoughts and prayers to Tim’s family. He was an amazing person that I feel lucky enough to have met. Rest in peace my friend.

  • Yvonne Marie

    Rip Uncle Paul xo