Jones stopped his 2004 Dodge Dakota in the westbound lane of Ohio 162 at 5:46 p.m. Friday and begin to exit the vehicle when a Willard school bus crashed into the rear of it. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said.
It is unknown why Jones was exiting his vehicle when the crash occurred.
“We still have a lot of interviews to do,” Patrol Sgt. Evan Stevens told the Reflector on Sunday. “We don’t for sure know the reason why the individual got out of the vehicle — we have some guesses and speculation. We’ve run into him before. He’s a really nice guy. But those are only speculation.”
Willard City Schools Superintendent Jeff Ritz said there isn’t a whole lot he can say while the investigation is ongoing.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all involved, especially the family of Mr. Jones,” he said. “We are waiting for the results of the investigation. We will move forward at that point.”
The bus driver, Rosalie A. Keesy, 47, of Willard, suffered minor cuts and abrasions as a result of the crash, troopers said.
That afternoon, Keesy had been transporting students who attend a school for migrant workers’ families.
“The bus dropped off its last student in the South Central school district and was on its way home when I received the call,” Ritz said.
Willard conducts the school for the entire area, servicing about 50 students, most of them on the elementary level, Ritz said. Classes are held at Willard Elementary School.
“We do have some older kids but not that many,” Ritz said. “Many of the older kids decide to work. It is paid for by a federal grant.”
“We service Huron County and parts of Erie County and we contract with North Point and they service all of the other areas,” the superintendent said.
The Willard school board will meet again Monday, when Ritz will talk about the migrant school, he said.
Ohio 162, between North Fairfield and New State roads, remained closed for several hours as crews investigated and cleared debris.