Breaking news ruled the day in the Chronicle’s top 10 web stories.
The stories with the most page views at chroniclet.com predominantly concerned car wrecks, crime and drug abuse.
- Man left in Elyria bar lot dies (Feb. 23) – Our most viewed story of the year was a follow-up to a story farther down on the list, about a beating suspect overdosing in the parking lot of the Train Station. Chad Vance’s life might have ended with drug use and attempted robbery, but he was described by those who knew him as a warm person. David West, his alleged accomplice in a robbery attempt, was indicted, and could face further charges.
- Veterinarian fatally shoots himself during meeting with drug task force (Dec. 6) – Lorain County authorities visited the Lorain County Animal Emergency Center with a search warrant on Dec. 6. Dr. Craig Talbott, the center’s owner and one of two veterinarians on staff, produced a gun. Officers from the Lorain County Drug Task Force tried to convince Talbott to put down the gun, and twice used a stun gun to try to incapacitate him, but Talbott fatally shot himself.
- Police: Beating suspect likely overdosed (Feb. 17) – Early that morning, an ambulance was called to the Train Station for a man in distress in the parking lot. Chad Vance, 34, was taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center for a suspected overdose, and police pieced together events that night, including an apparent attempt by Vance and David West to rob someone in a drug deal gone bad. Police believe West dumped Vance in the parking lot.
- One dead, one injured in Elyria crash (Aug. 28) – A fiery early-morning crash at the corner of West Avenue and Third Street killed Vicki Hill, 58, who was on her way to work. As Hill’s relatives mourned, charges were filed against Kristi Fitch, 40, of Elyria. Fitch was initially charged with operating a vehicle impaired, but those charges were dropped at the prosecutor’s request so further investigating could be done.
- One dead, one seriously injured in Route 58 head-on collision (June 15) – Shortly before 10 p.m. June 14, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers were called to a two-vehicle crash on Route 58 north of Webster Road. Police believe Raymond McKissick, 25, crossed the center line in a Jeep and hit a Dodge Journey driven by Christine Weeks, 49. Weeks was pronounced dead at the scene, and McKissick and his passenger, Tristen Truelson, were hospitalized. Weeks’ family has filed a wrongful death suit against McKissick, the Mosey Inn in Wellington, where McKissick was allegedly drinking before the crash, and the Jeep’s owner, Jessica Nelson.
- Vermilion coach dies (Nov. 18) – The year started with high hopes as longtime assistant Matt Kobal was hired as his alma mater’s football coach. It ended in tragedy. Kobal died Nov. 17 after a sudden illness – just two days after he was elected president of the Lorain County Football Coaches Association, and less than three weeks after completing the football season. Kobal was remembered as a caring mentor who led Vermilion to its best finish in a decade.
- Woman dies after New Year’s Day crash in Elyria (Jan. 8) – Early on New Year’s Day, Asim Taylor was driving south on South Abbe Road when he hit the guardrail at the intersection with Chestnut Ridge Road, crashing through it and hitting a rock before launching into the garage of the home at the intersection. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene, and his passenger, Jami Chappell, was taken by Lifeflight to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where she died five days later from her injuries.
- Elyria safety crews respond to at least six ODs (Feb. 22) – For the past couple years, opioids have been the scourge not just of Lorain County, but Ohio and the nation. Six overdose calls came in Feb. 21 – including one when a Chronicle reporter was on the phone inquiring about a different overdose. Those calls came a day after three fatal overdoses in the county, which is on pace to exceed last year’s total of 132 overdose deaths.
- North Ridgeville sign draws protesters, visitors (Feb. 4) – Owner Jay Linn has used the sign out front of his business, Northridge Auto Repair and Service on Lorain Road, to share his views on issues from sports to politics. But his sign in February, “If you don’t know who you identify as pull down your pants and look,” struck a nerve and drew protests. Linn said he received threats of violence, and even resigned his seat as Olmsted Falls City Council president. But he also said he received lots of support, and has continued to offer his opinions on the store’s sign.
- Body found at Lorain County Speedway (June 16) – The groundskeeper at the racing venue saw a woman in a car in the southern parking lot. It was Alberta Cerino, 45, who was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no obvious signs of trauma.