Family of Man Killed Changing Tire Thanks Those Who Helped

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WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — Interstate 480 westbound has been reopened.

It was closed for several hours after a man was reportedly hit and killed by a vehicle while he was changing his tire Sunday.

The victim’s name was released Monday.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office identified him as Lester D. Mitchell, 64, of Twinsburg.  Mitchell served as the chief of police for Cleveland State University from 2000-2006 when he retired.

According to Warrensville Heights spokesperson Ashley Gowens, the driver who struck Mitchell did stop at the scene.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the family of Lester D. Mitchell wanted to acknowledge and thank those who came to their aide during the events that took place on Sunday afternoon.

The incident was reported at about 3:30 p.m.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the interstate was closed between Miles Road and Lee Road. The Northfield Road entrance ramp to I-480 was also closed, according to ODOT.


  • mike

    this road is the worst in ohio people have no respect for others or the law it definately needs more police patroling

    • Mark

      whenever I see someone changing a tire or even a disabled vehicle I call the Highway Patrol. They will dispatch a unit to “protect and defend” the disabled vehicle (if their units aren’t tied up), hopefully preventing a wreck or worse. This incident was a worse.

      • Andrea

        Mark, thanks for posting that. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but it is a great idea. I will do that next time I see someone changing a tire.

      • K

        Excellent post Mark! I never thought about doing that, but after this accident, I will definitely start. Something has to be done for the safety of everyone. Prayers go out to this grieving family. So sad

      • Joy

        That is a good idea Mark! I will put that number in my cell phone to call the next time it is needed. I knew this man. He was a wonderful person!

  • Mary Timoneri

    People need to learn to move over a lane when there is a distressed vehicle off on the berm of the road, they are suppose to move over one lane when the police are on the berm, people need to take driving classes every time they re-new there license, they forget how to drive and don’t keep up with the laws of the road.

  • Kiyummy Kobayashi

    I travel I-480 every day to get to work. I hate the drive because people have no respect for traffic laws. There’s always some dunderhead driving 50 mph in the passing lane, paying no attention to traffic trying to get around him. Then there’s the speed demon who zips in and out of 3 lanes of traffic, just to get stuck behind the dunderhead. There’s the normal tail-gaters, who will be in your back seat if you have to slow down or stop suddenly. Then there’s the other dunderhead who is in the far left lane and realizes he wants off at the next exit, and instead of driving beyond the exit, he will literally stop and slow down all lanes trying to get exit right.

    I was on my way downtown today just about the time this accident occured. I was stuck in traffic for a good while. I must say that most drivers were very patient and courteous when all 4 lanes of traffic had to merge into two lanes and exit at Miles Road.

    Sad to learn that a man was killed. Condolences to his family and to the young lady who accidently hit him. Their lives will be changed forever.

    • Gina Brooks

      “K”, you are so right…so correct you took the words right out of my mouth. I loathe traveling I-480. I even bought a dash camera to record my travel….just in case one of “those” hits me.

    • rick

      that lady probably hit him cause she was texting and driving like all the idiots out there do hopes she goes to prison sad for the victims family

    • great

      Ashley works for the city of warrensville heights. she is a spokesman for the city. a younger male had hit the pedestrian. I know because I was there.

  • kathie

    LOL Thanks for explaining that,”K”. I was wondering what got you so excited. (the editors should read the posts before deleting….)

  • Cheri

    Everyone complaining about no police around during rush hour on the highways are exactly right! Some excuses from our police depts. are: Shift changes, staff was cut, etc. SERIOUSLY! THEN CHANGE YOUR SHIFT CHANGE HOURS! Really? These idiot drivers cause the accidents and we are left in the aftermath! How about the city in Ohio who made 22 million dollars off of the traffic camera’s? Where in God’s name or what did the do with that money? FED UP WITH ALL OF THEIR EXCUSES!

    • Gina Brooks

      Cheri: I bought my dash cam from the website “autodvdgps”. The model I purchased cost $80. I have been trying to let you know but for some reason my replies are not coming through. Perhaps because I am naming a website, not sure. I hope this information is helpful

  • jessica

    Warrensville Heights spokesperson, Ashley McGowan, duh!! Pay attention, people! Another person killed by some dumb girl not paying attention, and whose Daddy will save her. Someone had to have seen something, FIND HER!!

  • rick

    Lindale police have no problem sitting on the highway even though they have no right doing so law passed already to where they are not allowed to sit on 480e or west bound

  • its me

    A innocent man was killed in a terrible accident and all ppl wanna do is argue over what the article says or who did what nobody here was in that vehicle to blame anybody for anything this is the problem with the world today show some compassion for the victims and their families both families have been affected and this girl will live with this for the rest of her life start caring and stop arguin the world will be a better place

  • J Jay

    This is definitely a tragedy that could have been avoided. My condolences to the Mitchell family. They really need to make those berms wider it is definitely unsafe to sit there, let alone change your tire. Ohio really needs to allocate funds for wider berms for all of our safety.

  • Heather higgie

    It shouldn’t be necessary, but having flares and that warning triangle should be on everyone’s trunks.

  • martin

    my question is why did she keep on going an didnt stop i bet 20 dollars she had a warrent out for her arrest?

  • Alexandra

    If I see a disabled vehicle on the shoulder I slow down or move over a lane, same as if there’s an emergency vehicle there.

  • a

    Firstly my heart goes out to the family of the victim. I remember driving past (heading eastbound) and looking over going wow something serious must have happened. So sorry to hear this.

    Reading the comments it makes me realize just how dumb out society is. Wow I only think half of you know how to read. No where in the article do they say the driver drove away or that it was a hit and run. They do not state the driver who hit the man’s name. They do not tell you weather the driver is male or female. Also Ashley Gowens is the spokeswoman for the city the accident. Please people learn how to read before you open your mouth.

  • Gina Brooks

    Cheri: I bought my dash cam from the website “autodvdgps”. The model I purchased cost $80. I have been trying to let you know but for some reason my replies are not coming through. Perhaps because I am naming a website, not sure. I hope this information is helpful.

  • Edward T

    My mom knew this gentleman as she is an official at CSU. The young man who hit him looks devastated, and accidents do happen especially in horrible weather. Nobody should ever change a tire in this weather in such a place. Call a tow. Be late. Your life is worth it. Two lives destroyed here, many others damaged.

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