Loading…
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: 7/15/2006

Motorcyclist's death suspicious, troopers allege

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A fatal crash a week ago that took the life of a Fulton County motorcyclist may not have been accidental, according to court records filed by Ohio Highway Patrol troopers.

The state patrol is investigating whether Brenda Walker deliberately crashed her car into the motorcycle of her fianc, James Jeska, then drove back and forth over the dying man, according to the records.

Mr. Jeska, 53, died from injuries suffered in the accident about 1 a.m. last Saturday at Wilkins and Shaffer roads near Swanton in Lucas County. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An affidavit filed this week in Lucas County Common Pleas Court said a witness to the accident saw the 49-year-old woman hit the motorcycle and "back up, and then pull forward, and then back up again" to run over the victim.

"The information is consistent with evidence of intentional conduct in causing the death," Trooper Douglas Elliott wrote in a sworn statement to obtain evidence in a "homicide" investigation.

The incident occurred after a night of drinking during a party at a nearby motorcycle club, which the victim and his fiance had attended, authorities said.

The affidavit said troopers are looking into possible charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated vehicular homicide.

However, Ms. Walker, who lived with the victim, has not been charged.

She could not be reached for comment.

Troopers said Mr. Jeska was westbound on Shaffer and stopped at the intersection with Wilkins when he was hit by Ms. Walker's car.

The impact sent the motorcyclist about 30 feet into the air before he landed on the pavement near the center of the intersection, the affidavit said.

Anonymous phone calls were made to the highway patrol informing troopers that the incident followed a domestic dispute between the couple at the Centurion Motorcycle Club in Harding Township, the affidavit said.

The club for motorcycle enthusiasts is on Whitehouse-Spencer Road near Shaffer, about two miles from the accident scene.

Dr. Diane Barnett, a Lucas County deputy coroner, said Mr. Jeska, who was not wearing a helmet, died from head injuries, likely caused when he hit the pavement.

She said there was no trauma to the body or damage to his clothing that indicated he had been run over by the car.

Among property that troopers took from the car's trunk were 11 prescription bottles and full and empty beer bottles.

Troopers also took from the car a cooler and beer, an empty prescription bottle, and motorcycle saddlebags that belonged to the victim.

The affidavit said troopers saw a damaged luggage carrier from the victim's motorcycle in the front passenger seat, and "additional items from the motorcycle could well have been placed in the trunk of the vehicle by Ms. Walker."

Sgt. Dan Arend of the patrol's Toledo post said alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the accident. Sergeant Arend said blood drawn from Ms. Walker at Flower Hospital after the accident was sent to a state laboratory for testing.

Court records said data were retrieved from computer sensors in the car to analyze the driver's speed at the time of the accident, and the number of bumper strikes incurred in the collision.

The highway patrol is also testing fibers obtained from underneath the car and a bloody handprint on the trunk.

An accountant and a University of Toledo graduate, Mr. Jeska was chief financial officer at Bryan Truck Lines in Montpelier, Ohio.

Randy Malone of Swanton, who belongs to the Centurions organization, said Mr. Jeska and his fiance were not members but were invited to the party that was held annually for a bike rally.

"Jim and Brenda were both my friends. They just came out to have a good time," Mr. Malone said.

Mr. Malone was among club members who rode in Mr. Jeska's funeral procession Thursday.

Contact Mark Reiter at:

markreiter@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.