Saturday, April 10, 1999

Two died in field; two died on roads




BY MARK CURNUTTE
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Firefighters remove a body found off Cornell Road in a field near Sycamore High School.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Four people were killed in Friday morning's storm, two of them as they drove on interstate highways near Montgomery, according to the Hamilton County coroner.

        Dead are Charles S. Smith, 40, of 6432 Smith Road, Loveland; Donald E. Lewis, 38, of 6463 Hunt Road, Blanchester; and Lee Cook, 58, and his wife, Jacqueline, 52, who lived at 7575 Cornell Road, Montgomery, across from Sycamore High School.

        Mr. Smith was the manager of the Bob Evans Restaurant at 5875 Pfeiffer Road in Blue Ash.

        He was driving north on Interstate 71, about a half mile north of Pfeiffer Road. His car was lifted off the pavement, and he was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Hamilton County coroner, Blue Ash police said.

        He was headed home after working overnight at the res taurant, officials said. The accident occurred about 5:30 a.m., police said. The restaurant was closed Friday because it had no electricity.

        Mr. Lewis also was killed while driving. He was westbound on I-275 near the Montgomery Road interchange.

        Two other vehicles, including a tractor-trailer, also were lifted from the highway, police said. Those drivers were injured but survived, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

        Efforts to reach relatives of Mr. Lewis and Mr. Smith were unsuccessful Friday. The Hamilton County Coroner's Office would not release any information about them or Mr. and Mrs. Cook.

        The Cooks were sleeping in the second-floor bedroom of their home, police said, when high winds hit their house. Their bodies were found across Cornell Road in a field near Sycamore High School.

        Mr. Cook was a chemical engineer who recently opened a business in his home.

        He was considered an international leader in the development of screens to deal with zebra mussels. The aquatic pest has become well-known in the Great Lakes and has worked its way into Ohio's inland waters.

        “He was a leader,” said John Micketts, who formerly worked with Mr. Cook at Cook Screen on Glendale-Milford Road.

        “He will be missed in the industry, even though he was a competitor,” Mr. Micketts said Friday.

        Mr. Cook's business was Lee Cook Intake Screen Inc.

        The Cooks are survived by two children. A son, Ryan, is a recent Sycamore High School graduate, and a daughter lives in the Detroit area.

       



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Survivors eager to swap stories
- Two died in field; two died on roads
Adjusters quick to arrive at disaster
To file a claim
Dealing with storm aftermath
Don't rush repairs after storm
Tips to picking a contractor
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Talking to kids
Phones, power out until Sunday
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Storms' memories linger after damage is repaired
Mobilization was instant
Tornado tales
TV/radio stations had reason to boast
Volunteers grab chain saws, mops as workers untangle wires
At least 7 businesses destroyed
911 calls reveal confusion, fear

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