WILLOUGHBY, Ohio– Police say it was around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, when a couple from Eastlake was struck from behind by a pickup truck, while walking on the side of Lost Nation Road.
Police say Rudolph Baitt, 74, of Eastlake was behind the wheel. He’s charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Kimberly Perkins, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her boyfriend, Dean Capasso, 50, was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center with critical injuries.
“It was very shocking for my brothers and I. Both Dean and Kim never knew what hit them; they were hit from behind,” Pam Capasso, Dean’s brother, told FOX 8.
Pam said her brother had survived 3 brain surgeries in the past year and recent eye surgery that left him blind in one eye. But, as a result of the injuries he suffered after being struck by the pickup truck, doctors at MetroHealth said there was nothing they could do to save him.
“After what my brother has been through the past year, he did not deserve this type of ending, there were no goodbyes,” Pam said.
Among those mourning the loss of Dean and Kim are Capasso’s 20-year-old daughter and his 18-month-old grandson.
Court records indicate that the suspect’s blood alcohol content after the accident was .152; that’s nearly twice the legal limit in Ohio.
The victims’ loved ones say Baitt’s decision to allegedly drink and drive will have long-ranging consequences for everyone involved. “All I can say to him is ‘you need to get help’, and I say this to everybody, the help, the means are out there, and I don’t believe we should, any family should have to deal with this,” Pam said.