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Dump truck driver charged in fatal I-480 crash a no-show for first court appearance

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 10:23:17-04

CLEVELAND — A dump truck driver who was indicted earlier this month for a crash that killed a local funeral director on I-480 westbound near State Road in September 2020 was a no-show for his first court appearance Monday.

Jason Beard has been charged 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 driving 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: Dump truck driver charged in crash that killed local funeral director on I-480

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