ELIDA — An Elida woman was struck and killed while trying to cross state Route 81 near her home on Thanksgiving evening.
The victim, Doris T. Fricke, 87, was hit near 7777 Allentown Road (state Route 81) by a 2015 GMC Terrain that was traveling west at about 6:42 p.m. Thursday, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. State troopers said the driver, Bruce Diller, 63, of Elida, was not injured in the crash.
Doris Fricke is the mother of Bob Fricke, the general manager of the Allen County Fair. He said the family had just celebrated Thanksgiving at his mom’s home earlier that day.
“When I got called and got back there, the trash can was out. It wasn’t there when we left. And the paper was in the mailbox,” he said. “We figure she took the trash out and went to get the paper. We always try to get the paper and the mail, because it’s a busy road.”
Bob Fricke expressed gratitude for that final Thanksgiving meal with his mom.
“We had a lunch get-together, both sides of all our families. Everybody got a chance to see her. We had a great afternoon,” he said. “She had some health issues, and with that, you know, you can sort of prepare. But this blindsides you.”
He said he and a brother drove to visit Diller, who is known by the family and who lives on North Conant Road, two miles west of Doris Fricke’s place.
“We just wanted to let him know there was nothing he could have done. It was dark,” Bob Fricke said. “I can only imagine what he’s going through.”
He said he, his two brothers and his sister are making funeral arrangements at Chiles-Laman Funeral Home on Shawnee Road, but he said his mother did not want a public service.
There is no word yet on what caused the crash, or whether Diller will face any criminal charges. Calls to the Ohio State Highway Patrol were not returned.
Outside Doris Fricke’s residence, there were some signs of the Thanksgiving evening tragedy. There were blue, spray-painted circles on the roadway in front of the modest, two-story white house.
“I come out to leave the dog out, and I seen lights down there, facing this way,” said William Louth, 84, who lives two properties west of Doris Fricke. He said his son, who lives closer to the Fricke residence, heard the crash.
Bob Fricke said his mother worked at J.C. Penney’s in their cards and luggage departments for 20 years. He said she retired in 2005.
Reach Amy Eddings at 567-242-0379 or Twitter, @lima_eddings.