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Dump truck driver charged in crash that killed local funeral director on I-480

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Posted at 12:08 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 12:08:31-05

CLEVELAND — A dump truck driver has been charged in a crash that killed a local funeral director on I-480 westbound near State Road in September 2020, according to court documents.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Jason D. Beard with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.

It is alleged that on Sept. 24, Beard, operating a dump truck with its bed up, was traveling westbound on I-480 near State Road when the bed of his truck struck a highway sign, causing it to fall onto Daniel Ripepi, 62, of Independence, who was operating his Ford F-150 truck.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the dump truck involved in the crash was leaving a construction site on I-480 west between State Route 176 and State Road.

Beard was hired as an independent contractor by CJ Zac, a subcontractor on the project, to deliver topsoil to the site.

Ripepi, a licensed funeral director and pre-need counselor, was born and raised in Cleveland and has lived in Independence for the past 16 years. He leaves behind a wife, three children and three step-children.

RELATED: 1 dead after dump truck with its bed up knocks highway sign onto pickup on I-480 WB near State Road