By Evan Goodenow and Anna Merriman
PITTSFIELD TWP. — When a bad back and heel spurs made running difficult about 25 years ago, Wellington resident John Sobieski began walking three miles per day.
The 71-year-old Sobieski was on his daily walk on Hughes Road west of state Route 58 about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, when police said he was fatally struck by an eastbound 2009 Dodge Ram driven by Gary Mann, 62, of the 46000 block of Hughes Road, Oberlin.
In a written statement to police, Mann said Sobieski was westbound when the accident occurred, said Trooper Clayton Grubb of the Ohio Highway Patrol Elyria post.
Mann said he was driving about 10 mph and preparing to stop and say hello to Sobieski, who he casually knew. He said Sobieski, of the 17000 block of Pitts Road, fell into the path of the Ram before being struck.
Police said alcohol wasn’t a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation. A crash report was unavailable Wednesday.
Kathy Sobieski’s, John Sobieski’s wife, said he ran the Boston Marathon in 1984 and ran in local marathons before injuries sidelined him. Sobieski was a tool-and-die maker at Nordson Corp. in Amherst for 48 years before retiring in 2012.
Kathy Sobieski said her husband loved his job and retirement was an adjustment.
“Work was what he was,” she said. “He was trying to find himself. I think he was getting better at it, but it was hard.”
The Sobieskis, who have four children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, were preparing to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June. Kathy Sobieski said her husband was a loving father and grandfather, and their children are devastated by his death. Sobieski said when her husband said he was going for his walk, she told him to be careful as she always does.
“He was a good guy,” she said.
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or email@example.com.