Coroners rule two cycle deaths accidental

SANDUSKY Two recent motorcycle crash deaths were ruled accidental, according to area coroners.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Two recent motorcycle crash deaths were ruled accidental, according to area coroners.

A Milan man who died June 8 when his 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle crashed near a curve on Ohio 13 may have been affected by a heart defibrillator, said Lt. Darryl Edge, of the Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

"We know that he was a heart patient and he had a defibrillator," Edge said.

Thomas Shaffoe, 62, was described as an avid biker but was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

"There was no alcohol or anything in his system," Edge said, adding that troopers are awaiting a determination of what contributed to his death.

Huron County Coroner Dr. Jeff Harwood said last week Shaffoe died from head and neck injuries.

"He did have extensive underlying heart disease, and it is believed he was having heart problems that may well have caused him to have the accident in the first place, period," he said.

As a result, Shaffoe's death was ruled accidental, Harwood said.

Meanwhile, his defibrillator was returned to the manufacturer to check for defects.

The case remains open, troopers said.

The death of another man in a separate three-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle was also ruled accidental. Paul "Chris" Smith, 34, of Sandusky, died after the June 13 wreck at the intersection of Ohio 4 and Bogart Road.

Smith died from massive head and chest injuries, according to officials at the Lucas County Coroner's office, where the autopsy was performed.

There was alcohol in his system at the time of death, the coroner reported.

Charges have not yet been filed against another driver involved in the wreck, although preliminary reports indicate he failed to yield.

Troopers are waiting to review the full autopsy report findings before closing each case or filing charges.