Waiting on findings


JEFFERSON — Investigators from the Ohio State Highway Patrol have completed their investigation of the fatal hit-and-run accident Sept. 16 in Harpersfield Township. 

Prosecutors are now waiting on the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office to get them the findings and documents they need to move forward, said Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci.

“We will not take it to grand jury until we have everything we need,” he said.

The investigators scoured a white 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup for evidence and they believe they know the identity of the driver, described by the 75-year-old victim, William Bakker, as a white a middle-aged man with a moustache. But no arrests have been made as of Monday.

Bakker, a retired Cleveland police lieutenant and U.S. Navy veteran, was riding his bicycle along Route 307 in the early evening when a pickup sideswiped him, according to the OHP report.

He later died from his injuries.

OHP investigators said the driver of the truck fled the scene without stopping.

The identity of the suspect, who lives in Ashtabula County, has not been released.

Investigators said surveillance video from a gas station and tips from the public helped lead to the suspect.

Bakker, who was wearing a helmet, was found alongside the road with critical injuries. He was taken to UH Geneva Medical Center and then transported to a Cleveland hospital, where he later died.

It is unknown if the driver of the pickup was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or whether distracted driving was a factor, according to OHP.

Recommended for you