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Wrong-Way Social Worker
November 21, 2012 permalink
Drunk driving Ohio social worker Jennifer M Kearney drove the wrong way on Interstate 90, killing Kenneth Stith. In her day job at the time, she investigated sexual abuse of children.
Former social worker gets 3 years in prison for drunken-driving fatality
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A former social worker was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for striking and killing a motorcyclist while driving under the influence of alcohol and heading the wrong way on Interstate 90 last year.
Jennifer Kearney, 29, an Ohio State University graduate who investigated sex abuse cases for the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, was coming home from her second job as a bartender in downtown Cleveland when the accident occurred in the morning of July 1, 2011.
Her attorney, Kevin Spellacy, said after the hearing that Kearney does not remember going the wrong way on I-90.
Kearney delivered a tearful apology to the family and friends of the victim, Kenneth Stith. 54, of Akron.
"I pray that God will be with everyone involved and lighten their anguish," she said.
Albert Sammon, a friend of the Kearney family, spoke on Kearney's behalf and offered his sympathies to the Stith family. Sammon said he had a brother killed in a car accident in 1982 through no fault of his own.
"I know it's a devastating loss," Sammon said. "I think of my brother still 30 years later on a daily basis."
Stith was heading home from his job as a machinist with A.J. Rose Manufacturing Co. in Avon when Kearney struck his Harley-Davidson head-on near the West 98th Street exit.
Kearney pleaded guilty last month to vehicular homicide.
Stith's mother, Mary Stith, 82, said after the hearing that Kearney's family and her own have suffered from the tragedy.
"I could have been the mother on the other side of the fence," said Stith, who had nine children, seven of whom are still living.
As for Kearney, Stith said, "She's already paid. She's paid dearly. And she will continue to pay. It will never be over for her."
Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer