Charges Possible in Fatal Crash Involving Cuyahoga Falls Woman, Kent State Professor
Kent Police awaiting autopsy results in January death of Gordon F. Vars, emeritus Kent State professor.
Whether or not charges will be filed against a driver who struck and killed a Kent man in January depend on autopsy results.
Vars, an emeritus professor at Kent State University, was crossing Fairchild Avenue in a marked crosswalk on the west side of Woodard Avenue when he was struck by Deborah Graef, 57, of Cuyahoga Falls, according to the Kent Police accident report. Graef was driving westbound on Fairchild Avenue.
Kent Police Lt. Paul Canfield said the department's accident reconstruction expert is waiting on the full autopsy report on Vars, including toxicology tests, from the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office.
Once the report is obtained, the department can conduct the reconstruction and determine if charges are warranted, Canfield said. The autopsy report may indicate if Vars had any health conditions that contributed to his death.
"So at this point we can't make any recommendation for charges," Canfield said.
The final report could be released to police this month.
Graef was driving a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle with two passengers at the time of the accident. The car sustained damage to the center front, according to the crash report, but the impact wasn't hard enough to set off the car's air bags.
The Woodard Avenue intersection is at the crest of a hill overlooking the new Fairchild Avenue Bridge. It was dark at the time of the 10 p.m. accident but both streets feature overhead lights.
Alcohol is not suspected as a factor, according to police.