Patrol: Killed Norwalk teen was drunk

Cary Ashby • Oct 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

State troopers have determined a Norwalk teen who was killed after he ran a stop sign was intoxicated.

The blood alcohol content level of Tyller A. Myers, 19, of 4649 En Road, tested at .164, according to troopers with the Norwalk post of the state Highway Patrol. That's more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Ohio of .08.

Alcohol wasn't suspected of being a factor for the other driver, Kevin P. Heter, 53, of Clyde, the patrol reported also Thursday. Heter was driving the 2008 Peterbilt tractor-trailer that slammed into the 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by Myers. Troopers have said Myers ran the stop sign at U.S. 20 while southbound on Medusa Road.

It's standard procedure for troopers to get alcohol-related blood samples during the investigation of fatalities.

The two-vehicle accident happened Sept. 20. The collision sent both vehicles off the left side of U.S. 20 and into a corn field.

Myers, the only occupant in the pickup, wasn't wearing his seatbelt, said Trooper Tim Hoffman, who investigated the crash. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim's grandfather is Dale Shepard, of Norwalk. Shepard earlier told the Reflector his grandson's truck stalled in the intersection.

"I heard, bottom line, the truck driver stated to us Tyller's truck was dead in the water when he hit him," Shepard said.

When asked if Myers' truck has stalled, a patrol spokeswoman said Thursday troopers never heard from Heter, the semi driver, the pickup had stalled. Heter was the only witness to the crash.

Because Myers was killed, the investigation is closed and no charges will be filed.

"It was a total accident and I don't blame the truck driver at all. Mentally, how would you feel if this happened to you? But he (Heter) has a family to feed and he has to get back and do his job. We are hoping and praying for him to get back in that truck," Shepard said.

A LifeFlight helicopter flew Heter from the crash site to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

During the investigation, troopers discovered three stop signs and posts in Myers' truck.

One sign was taken from the intersection of Ohio 61 and Wells Road. Another was from the intersection of Ohio 61 and Gibbs Road . The third sign was from an access road for a market by Wells Road and Ohio 61.

Sgt. Jason Demuth has said those stop signs were taken from intersections along the route Myers was traveling prior to the crash. The assistant post commander also said Myers is the only suspect in the thefts.

Shepard has said he doesn't believe his grandson was stealing signs and denied he was intoxicated.

"Unless he (the trooper) was following him, he wouldn't have seen anything," the victim's grandfather said. "Tyller just got off work less than a half hour before that. There was no way he was drunk or high or anything."

Officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation replaced the stop signs.

Three of the five fatal crashes this year in Huron County were alcohol-related. Six people were killed.

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