BGSU Firelands administrator dies in Sandusky County crash

John Clark, 56, was career services coordinator
Shawn Foucher
May 3, 2013

Amid celebrating the graduation of hundreds Friday night, the BGSU Firelands community found itself mourning the death of a longtime employee.

John Clark, 56, of Huron, the school's coordinator of career services, died Friday afternoon after a two-vehicle crash in Sandusky County.      

"He was the best of the best guys," said BGSU Firelands spokesman Dean Schnurr, who knew Clark well. "You couldn't have found a nicer guy than John Clark. The BGSU Firelands family will be mourning his loss for some time." 

Clark was driving a 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan west on U.S. 6 near Helena when at about 4:30 p.m. his vehicle crossed the center line and struck an oncoming Ford Escape, according to troopers at the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Fremont post.  

The driver of the Escape, Carlla Dixon-Bowers, 49, of Lima, died at the scene.

Clark was flown by medical helicopter from the scene to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, where he was pronounced dead.

The passengers in his mini-van — his wife, Cynthia Clark, 55, and daughter, Jennifer Clark, 25, both of Huron — were taken by ambulance to Fremont Memorial Hospital. They sustained injuries that were not life-threatening, according to troopers.

The crash scene was near County Road 32.

The Clarks were all wearing seat belts, but Dixon-Bowers was not, troopers said. Alcohol is not a suspected factor and the crash remains under investigation.

The crash shut down that section of U.S. 6 for upwards of three hours, with Sandusky County deputies, Helena firefighter and paramedics and Sandusky County EMS assisting at the scene.

Clark had worked in the career services department at BGSU Firelands for years. 

"He was a great guy, a great guy," Schnurr said. 

He had been actively involved in Huron organizations, including work with the Huron Chamber of Commerce. 

"It's tragic and sad," Schnurr said. "You just can't say enough about how good he was, and how sad it is that a such good guy is lost."



I knew John as a friend and an encourager, he will be greatly missed, he was one of the most soft spoken men I have ever met but his words were true and full of faith. God Bless his family, they will forever be in my prayers. You will be greatly missed John. God's gain is our loss!


My thoughts and prayers to both families, these events are devastating and life changing. Mr. Clark lived in my mother’s neighborhood and I believe that his son was my mother’s paperboy at one time.

Without taking the tragedy out of this subject, two things need to be addressed again; I have commented on this before. Having traveled that section of RT 6 many times back and forth to BG one knows how dangerous this section of road can be, just read the Register regularly and you will see how many fatal accidents take place from left of center accidents. You have people stopping to turn, heavy truck traffic and other factors that make this section of roadway quite dangerous. I know it may never be a four lane divided highway but in my eyes I think that ODOT should take a long hard look at taking a small amount of property from both sides of that road, maybe eight feet from each side and create a center turn lane along its entire length, this buffer lane would probably prevent 90% of the left of center accidents and provide commuters with just a little more wiggle room.

Second, it has been known for some time that the vehicle frontal impact testing is not very accurate; you see most testing done with full frontal impacts. In reality, just look at these pictures of the accident. The vehicle Mr. Clark was driving was not that heavily damaged but the impact was a glancing blow to the front driver’s corner of it. In these cases the energy is transferred in a small crumple zone that is directed into the driver and air bags have little effect on helping prevent physical injury. I see this a great deal but what is being done? The EPA has mandated better mileage, thus lighter weight and less safe vehicle design. The design of vehicles needs to be addressed as well as this section of highway!

Just saying!

local man

To the Bowers family I'm sorry for your loss, to the Clark family you were the epitome of a nice family with John showing class in everything he was involved with. I had the pleasure of seeing him in Scouts for years with the 2 boys as well as seeing him at the fair with his daughter. Unfortunately accidents happen in life and this one took away people to early in their prime. May you all use your faith to get through this difficult time.

ex local

Along with my sadness over the death of my friend Carlla, I am angry at the very biased coverage of this accident. I am not doubting that Mr. Clark was a very loved and valued member of the community, but I feel that Carlla was slighted. The author of the article obviously did not spend one minute to discover all the wonderful things that made Carlla a delightful person. The best you could say about her is that she did not have a seatbelt on? Let me tell you about Carlla, she was a native of Berlin Heights, a graduate of Edison and BGSU Firelands, a beloved wife, daughter, sister and friend to hundreds, an accomplished and much loved employee of Murphy Oil, animal lover and a Christian. This is such a sad situation for so many people, but to shortchange the victim in your article is pain upon agony. Please be more fair and unbiased in future articles. Her life mattered as well. Prayers for both families.


Yes, she is the victim, and you are not the only one who has been bothered by the reporting of this crash. I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend.


I completely agree. As loved as Mr. Clark was, the victim in this accident was also loved by family and friends that are mourning her loss. RIP Carlla. You mattered to me. Please remember BOTH families in your prayers.


It makes perfect sense that a "local paper" would highlight what they know about a "local man". Perhaps instead of filling the comments with negativity here, folks should take the time to get some information about Carlla to her local paper, for an appropriate tribute. No matter how you look at it, this is a tragic situation, with families and friends that are hurting and in need of some support. It's time to remember the goodness of the people involved, and not to bicker.


John had Christ in his heart. I know where we will meet again.

My heart goes out to his family and to his "extended" family at Firelands. Big shoes to fill.