Friday, February 01, 2002

Driver faces homicide charge

Retirement center residents mourn lost friend

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — A Michigan man was charged Thursday with vehicular homicide for crashing his van into the lobby of Cedar Village retirement community a day earlier, killing an 87-year-old woman.

        Police charged Edward Traurig, 65, of Oak Park, Mich., in connection with the death of Sarah Josephson. The first-degree misdemeanor carries up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and a suspended license.

        “There may be additional charges, but the most serious at this point is the vehicular homicide charge,” Mason Prosecutor Robert Peeler said. He said Mr. Traurig will surrender to Mason officials before Monday.

        Louis Josephson, 93, who was with his wife, was in good condition Thursday at Bethesda North Hospital.

        At the retirement community, a gaping plywood-covered hole in the wall reminded grief-stricken residents and staff of the disaster.

        “Many of them were friendly with the Josephsons, and they're dealing with their grief,” said Reid Aaron, chief executive officer of Cedar Village. “They're talking to the rabbis here, they're talking to the staff here and they're talking to each other. We're going to bring in some counseling services so they can kind of talk things out.”

        “When something like this happens, it's just a shock to everybody. It's so unreal,” said Janet Kirschmann, 71.

        Police say Mr. Traurig apparently lost control of his van at the circle drive near the lobby. The vehicle jumped a curb, continued through a grassy area, then plowed through plate-glass doors near the main entrance, striking the couple. Mr. Traurig was visiting his father-in-law.

        Mrs. Josephson died Wednesday at Bethesda North, about five hours after the 11:19 a.m. crash.

        Funeral services will be noon today at Weil Funeral Home, 8350 Cornell Road, Symmes Township.

        Memorials: The Jewish Community Center's Senior Adult Program, 1580 Summit Road, Cincinnati, OH 45237.


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