Thursday, October 19, 2017 Elyria 50°


Elyria trucker killed in I-71 crash


MOUNT GILEAD - A 32-year-old Elyria man was killed Monday when a vehicle crossed the Interstate 71 median and slammed into his tractor-trailer in central Ohio.

Richard Stull Jr. was killed instantly when the driver of a northbound Honda Civic lost control around 7 a.m. and crashed head-on into Stull`s southbound Volvo semi, according the Mt. Gilead Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

The driver of the civic, Phillip Leathers, 28, of Mansfield, also died. Both men were alone in their vehicles.

Blowing snow and wind contributed to the crash, according to the Highway Patrol. However, Leathers is suspected to have been speeding over an icy overpass when he lost control of his vehicle.

A third vehicle, an Isuzu Rodeo towing a U-Haul trailer, was struck by the flying debris from the crash. Its occupants were not injured.

The Highway Patrol continues to investigate how fast Leathers was traveling. It is unknown whether either man was wearing a seat belt.

Stull grew up in Lorain but moved to South Amherst and later, to Elyria, according to his aunt, Diane Stull.

He has a 10-year-old son, Brenden. He enjoyed being with his family, she said, and spending time outdoors.

"I remember putting him on my motorcycle and taking him on short trips around the yard," she said. "He was an outgoing kid. It`s going to be a hard Christmas for the family."

The crash caused the southbound lane of I-71 to close for three hours while rescue crews worked to clear the scene.

Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or

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