Husband steps outside club, sees accident scene
CARLISLE TWP. — What was supposed to be a night of live music and fun at a veterans club ended tragically when an Elyria man walked outside to see his wife’s crumpled motorcycle lying next to the road.
Troopers told Gerald Uehlein that his wife of nearly 29 years, Drema Uehlein, had gone through the windshield of a car that had turned in front of her about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
He rushed to the hospital, but there was nothing he could do — his 50-year-old wife died in surgery after being taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.
Drema Uehlein was thrown from her motorcycle into the windshield of a 1997 Nissan Sentra driven by 36-year-old Richard Neal after he failed to yield when turning left into the private driveway of the AMVETS Post 32 on Middle Avenue, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. Drema Uehlein’s motorcycle struck the front of the Sentra, throwing her forward.
She was rushed to EMH Regional Medical Center, where doctors placed her in a medically induced coma before she was flown to Cleveland.
No charges have been filed, and it is not known yet whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, troopers said.
Neal was traveling south on Middle Avenue, just north of Butternut Ridge Road while Uehlein was heading north. She was en route from the Wal-Mart Supercenter on U.S. Route 20, where she worked as an optometrist. Her husband already was at the club, setting up band equipment.
Drema Uehlein took up motorcycle riding two years ago after deciding that her place was not on the back of her husband’s Harley-Davidson but rather on her own bike, said one of her two daughters, Adrienne Uehlein.
“She was careful and always wore her helmet,” said Adrienne Uehlein, who lives in Charleston, W.Va. “She just wanted to be in control — that’s why she decided she would just learn to ride herself.”
Enjoying a night out was something the couple loved to do, their daughter said.
“She was so full of life and everyone loved her,” Adrienne Uehlein said. “This has devastated everyone we know. The phone can’t stop ringing from all the people wanted to call and say how sorry they are. I’m proud to be able to say all my friends thought I had the coolest mom in the world.”
Michelle Bartolotta, president of the Post 32 Ladies Auxiliary, said Drema Uehlein’s loss will be felt for a long time.
“She was a good-hearted person who helped everyone and would do anything for anyone,” she said. “You will never find a more patriotic person than her.”
Drema Uehlein will be honored at a special ceremony at the next meeting of the auxiliary and Bartolotta is dreading the day — knowing she will be the one to lead the ritual along with the chaplain.
“I never thought I would have to do that for any auxiliary member, especially Drema because she was so full of life,” Bartolotta said.
When Uehlein was not volunteering as an active member of the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, she enjoyed painting, photography and bowling. She was a member of the LaGrange United Methodist Church and had a 3-year-old granddaughter.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.