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Published: Thursday, 1/12/2006

Bowling Green lawyer dies after struck by car while jogging near home


BLOOMDALE A man who ran over a bicyclist in 1993 was driving a car a car that struck and killed Bowling Green attorney Jodi Stearns while she was jogging near her home yesterday.

Ms. Stearns, 47, of rural Bloomdale died shortly after 8 last night at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo. An autopsy was to be performed today in Lucas County.

According to the Wood County Sheriff's Office, she was jogging along the edge of Emerson Road just north of Eagleville Road about 8:30 a.m. when a northbound car driven by David W. Harris, 36, of Bairdstown struck her.

No charges have been filed against Harris, although he was being held in the Wood County jail on a parole violation.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records show he was paroled Nov. 7 from Lebanon Correctional Institution where he was serving seven to 15 years for a felonious assault conviction in Wood County Common Pleas Court.

Harris was convicted by a jury Oct. 20, 1993 for running over Nancy A. Kolarik, who at the time was a student at Bowling Green State University, with his car.

Ms. Kolarik testified during the trial that she had never seen or talked to Harris before July 9, 1993. That night, she said, he drove into a gas station on North Main Street where she was putting air in her bike tires and asked directions to I-75.

Ms. Kolarik said she gave him directions then rode off, but he followed her for several blocks. She testified that she drove up a driveway and then onto the sidewalk, and he drove up the curb and struck her.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said yesterday s crash remains under investigation. He did not know whether Harris struck Ms. Stearns deliberately or what factors may have caused the accident.

City Prosecutor Matthew Reger said that in addition to her private practice, Ms. Stearns worked part-time as an assistant prosecutor specializing in domestic violence cases.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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