Avon Lake Municipal Court Judge Darrel Bilancini sentenced Brecksville resident Anthony (A.J.) Rose Jr. to the maximum 90 days in jail, but suspended 85 of those days, at Rose’s sentencing today in an accident that claimed an Avon construction workers life.
Bilancini’s sentence came following comments by an emotional Rose.
“One week ago today, I buried my father,” Rose, who works at A.J. Rose Manufacturing in Avon, said. “So I know what it’s like to lose a parent.”
"To the family of the deceased, all I can say is ‘I’m sorry,’” Rose said. “’I’m sorry' doesn’t begin to express the deep sorrow I have for the deceased’s family. “’I’m sorry’ doesn’t change the outcome of this accident. The words ‘I’m sorry’ ring hollow, but they’re the only words I have you’re honor.”
at the Nagel Road interchange project involved two vehicles. An investigation determined that both cars involved in the accident were traveling at the posted speed limit of 65.
Rose was driving a 2006 Jeep Liberty. Nathan Reese, 34, of Avon was driving a 2008 Honda Odyssey that was also involved in the accident. No charges have been filed against Reese.
The investigation showed that Reese slowed down, but Rose did not. Both cars veered toward the left with Rose’s car veering off the road and striking construction worker Peter Magklis, 63, a construction worker from Campbell, OH. Magklis’ leg was amputated in the accident and he was pronounced dead soon after at Avon Emergency Care Center.
Rose, entered a plea of “no contest” at the Feb. 12 sentencing in Avon Lake Municipal Court.
During sentencing Bilancini said he understood signage indicated the speed limit posted was 65. There were signs posted for 55 mph, but the signs were inside the required one-mile limit.
Avon Police Sgt. Robert Olds, who was a responding officer and in charge of the investigation said that following the accident Rose expressed “deep remorse.”
“At the scene of accident he was emotional,” Olds said.
After the accident, Rose contacted Olds to express concern over the safety zone, saying he was looking for ways to improve safety for other construction zones.
“My understanding is the signage wasn’t reduced in the construction zone; it was still 65 mph,” Bilancini said. “In retrospective, it does not appear to be appropriate signage.”
Olds agreed. “I agree with you there,” he said. “I don’t agree with the speed.”
“You’re guilty of assured clear distance and unfortunately, because of that, someone died,” BIlancini told Rose.
A letter from a social worker Rose has been working with for two years over other personal issues said that following the accident the defendant had expressed “deeply profound remorse and devastation” over the incident.
“He suffers almost daily from flashbacks,” the letter said. “He will never see himself the same way again.”
Rose said he has been trying to process the accident and search for some peace.
The investigation also showed Rose was not on his cell phone or texting during the incident and neither alcohol nor drugs were a factor.
Following the sentencing a soft-spoken Rose said he wants to do what’s necessary, either by contacting Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office or state politicians to assure the speed limit in construction zones are reduced.
“I am not blaming anyone; I am not saying it was ODOT’s fault,” Rose said. “I’m responsible, I have no one to blame but myself. But if legislation was changed and could save one life…
“The (posted) speed limit… it’s just too fast.”
Rose was also sentenced to the maximum of 200 hours community service, fined $750 and had his license revoked for one year, with work privileges.