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LEMON TWP., Butler County — A well-known Waynesville man who died Saturday in a Butler County crash that left his wife hospitalized with serious injries was “very, very close to retirement.”
Lonnie Schear, 70, of West Ellis Drive in Waynesville, died following the crash on Oxford State Road near Radabaugh Road, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.
His wife, Connie Schear, 69, a passenger in the vehicle, was injured and transported by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where she remained Wednesday, listed in serious condition.
Schear, a long-time employee of LCNB Bank, was also a local leader involved in community events, including the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival and the Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Lonnie was pretty much Mr. Waynesville,” said Eric Meilstrup, president of LCNB Bank.
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Shear had managed the Waynesville branch of the bank and was currently a vice president and commercial lending officer. He was nearing retirement at the time of the crash, Meilstrup added.
Meilstrup said bank employees are mourning Shear’s death.
According to the sheriff’s office preliminary report, a vehicle driven by Richard B. Latino, 36, of Pom Court in Trenton, went left of center while traveling east on Ohio 73 (Oxford State) and hit Schear’s vehicle that was travelling west on Oxford State, head-on.
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Schear’s vehicle spun sideways and was struck by a third westbound vehicle driven by Janis Bergeron, 39, of Stone Creek Drive in Oxford.
Latino was transported by medical helicopter to University of Cincinnati Hospital. Bergeron was transported by an ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.
The crash remains under investigation by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office serious crash investigation team.
No citations have been issued, according to Sgt. Kim Peters.
Stubbs-Conner Funeral Home is handling the funeral arrangements. No details were available Wednesday.