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Father of 5 recently hired as Highland Schools bus driver killed by drunk driver, troopers say

Posted at 10:40 AM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 20:36:10-04

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that killed a local school bus driver and a father of five Wednesday night.

The crash happened on US 224 at the intersection of Friendsville Road at around 8:39 p.m. in Westfield Township, located in Medina County.

Jeffrey McElwain, 54, of Lodi, was traveling westbound on US 224 in his Ford F-150 when he collided with a Dodge Ram driven by a 22-year-old man from Lodi.

Both vehicles went off the road. The Dodge Ram flipped onto its roof and struck a traffic light pole, according to OSHP.

McElwain, who leaves behind five children, was pronounced dead by the Medina County Coroner. He was recently hired as a school bus driver for Highland Local Schools.

Following the news of his death, Highland Local Schools released the following statement:

"Jeff was a bus driver at Highland Schools for only the past year, but he made an impact on many people here. He was very compassionate. He always made sure the students on his bus route were safe and taken care of and he was happy to be surrounded by their smiling faces." 

Troopers suspect the 22-year-old driver was drunk at the time of the crash. He was taken to Lodi Hospital where he was treated and released. Charges are pending, according to Lt. Mark Neff.

Troopers said seat belts were not used by either driver.

The crash remains under investigation.