A small-town Warren County mayor about to step down after two terms was killed Monday in a crash while driving a riding mower on East Foster-Maineville Road in front of his home.
Maineville Mayor William V. Shearer, 82, was operating a 2014 Gravely Zero Turn lawn mower west on Foster Maineville Road around 7:30 p.m. when it was rear-ended by a 2019 Ford F-150 pickup driven by 30-year-old Victoria A. Vogel of Morrow, according to a release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post.
Vogel was treated and released from Bethesda Arrow Springs Hospital in Lebanon.
Shearer was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton suffering from a severe head injury. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
On Tuesday, a cross stood near his home, along with signs for candidates for mayor and council.
Shearer had served two terms as mayor and one term on council in the small village in the middle of Hamilton Twp., one of the fastest growing areas of Warren County.
He was in the final months of his second mayoral term and not running for re-election.
According to election records, Shearer was elected unopposed in 2015. he defeated Mayor Dale Marconet in 2011, 260-108. He also was elected to council in 2007.
“We were extremely good friends. It’s been a great loss,” said Councilman Michael Kembel, expected to replace Shearer, at least until January. He and resident Bob Beebe are running for the office.
Kembel referred further questions to the village lawyer, Kevin McDonough, who confirmed Kembel, as mayor pro-tem, would replace Shearer, at the beginning of the next mayoral term.
“He was a great guy. He’s going to be sorely missed,” McDonough said.
Beebe called the crash “a terrible tragedy” and said he was holding off on campaigning in respect to Shearer and his family. He said he had also been told Shearer mowed for neighbor’s lawn and could have been on the road for this purpose.
Neither McDonough or Trooper Gideon Bayuo, the investigating officer, could confirm that Shearer was on the road to mow for neighbors.
The fatal crash occurred just east of Foster-Maineville Road and Shearer’s home, about 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to Maineville police and the state patrol.
Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be a factor in the crash that remains under investigation, according Bayuo.
Excessive speed is also not expected to be part of the case, Lt. Chuck O’Bryon, the post commander, added.
Maineville police were dispatched to the crash, just before 7:30 p.m., Capt. Scott Aronoff, the assistant police chief in Maineville, said in a prepared statement.
The investigation was turned over to the state patrol, Aronoff said.
Bayuo and O’Bryon said the case would probably be presented to prosecutors, once the investigation was complete.
Ohio Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, expressed his condolences.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mayor Shearer’s family, especially his wife and two daughters. As a long-time resident of Maineville, William was a true public servant who loved his community. He will be sorely missed by all of us in Maineville. We will remember his legacy of service and commitment to his constituents,” Wilson said in a statement.