Fatal Lake Road bike crash case headed to grand jury

Sharan Carr, 64, of Sheffield Lake, and her attorney, Kate Pruchnicki, appear in Avon Lake Municipal Court June 20, to waive her preliminary hearing on charges relating to the death of Randy Knilans, 66, of Avon Lake after police said Carr hit Knilans with her car on Lake Road and drove off.

A Lorain County grand jury will hear the case of a Sheffield Lake woman charged with killing a well-known Avon Lake man while he rode his bike on Lake Road.

Sharan Carr, 64, remained silent as she appeared Thursday before Avon Lake Municipal Court Judge Darrell Bilancini on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, hit-skip and not maintaining reasonable control.

Carr struck Randy Knilans, 66, about 8 p.m. on June 6 and drove off. Knilans was taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and died the next day from his injuries.

Carr waived her right to a preliminary hearing, which defense attorney Kate Pruchnicki called the best course of action. That decision sends the case to the grand jury.

“Based on the current information, I think it’s highly likely she’ll be indicted,” Pruchnicki said. “So we waived the preliminary hearing.”

Carr is free on $100,000 bond.

Pruchnicki said the defense continues to gather information.

After the hearing, Avon Lake Police Sgt. Reed Reikowski said the department would continue to work with the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office to prepare the case. The prosecutor’s office will decide when to present the case to the grand jury, he said.

The prosecutor’s office could not be reached for comment..

Avon Lake police got a call about a reckless driver and that a bicyclist had been hit. Police found Knilans on the north side of Lake Road. Sheffield Lake police found Carr a few minutes later near Lake Road and Maplewood Avenue.

Knilans, an architect, was on the Avon Lake Planning Commission from 1989 to 2015, including serving as chairman, then was appointed again in 2018 when a vacancy occurred. He also served on the city zoning board and Historic Preservation Committee. He enjoyed biking, sailing and automotive-related activities. He enjoyed team sports as well and helped coach his children’s baseball and basketball teams. Avon Lake City Council honored Knilans June 10 with a moment of silence.

“We are full of sadness here in the city,” Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka said at the council meeting. “We don’t always get someone of such high quality … (Knilans’) longevity and his expertise and his kindness is an example of the kind of people who reside in our community and we are forever grateful.”

Another Avon Lake case involving a bicyclist being hit while riding on Lake Road also has been sent to a Lorain County grand jury. Allison Spoerl, 21, Avon Lake, is charged with assault, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless operation and possession of criminal tools. after hitting Patty Banks, 51, of Bay Village, with her car and injuring her on May 15.

Contact this reporter at assoceditor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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