$50,000 bond for elderly man accused in deadly DUI accident

$50,000 bond for elderly man accused in deadly DUI accident
Rudolph R. Baitt (Source: WOIO)
Elderly man admits to causing deadly DUI accident. (Source: WOIO)
Elderly man admits to causing deadly DUI accident. (Source: WOIO)

WILLOUGHBY, OH (WOIO) - A 73-year-old Eastlake man who admitted to driving his truck into two pedestrians Saturday night is being held on $50,000 bond.

Rudolph R. Baitt had a blood alcohol content of .15 according to court documents.

Police said Baitt was driving his pickup on Lost Nation Road just before 6:30 p.m. when he hit two people; 50-year-old Dean Capasso and 57-year-old Kimberly Perkins.

Cleveland 19 was told they left behind a 20-year-old daughter and a grandson who's almost two. 

"They were young. They were in their fifties. They had a lot of time left - a grandson, a young daughter. They don't get to see what she's going to do with the rest of her life, and that was taken from her. It was taken from them," said Kristine Shreves. Shreves is a nurse who happened to come upon the couple in the road after they were hit. 

Capasso and Perkins were walking north along the east side of Lost Nation Road when they were struck from behind by the northbound Chevy truck, police said.

"I was told that they were just wonderful, wonderful people. They were just walking to a friend's house it was nice out," said Shreves.  She said she gave Perkins CPR on the scene, and tried to make sure that Capasso was stable.

They were taken to Lake West Medical Center. Perkins died of her injuries at the hospital on Saturday. Capasso was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center with life threatening injuries and later died. Baitt was not injured.

"It's a small road had on a light colored sweatshirt. If you were just driving and not intoxicated he would have seen them," said Shreves.  "I'm not saying that people should never have a drink, but your actions do have consequences,
and unfortunately in this situation alcohol wasn't just you got pulled over and got a ticket. You took two people away from their daughter and their grandson for those actions." 

Baitt has been charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.  He was placed on a $50,000 bond, as of Monday afternoon he was still in the Lake County jail. 

"The family is in complete and utter shock that this event has happened and we are truly sorry that their lives had to be taken," said Baitt's son in law JD Horner.  "We know we cannot take away the pain and the heartache but we hope that we want you to our family is with you in this time of sorrow." 

He described Baitt as a former marine who's involved with the local VFW. He said the family had a chance to briefly speak with him after Monday morning's court hearing.

"He also is in just complete disbelief that this happened he has complete remorse for his actions," said Horner. 

Horner would not comment on if his father in law has a drinking problem.  He did make one plea on behalf of the family.

"He's not this monster that people are claiming and when events like this happen…just take the time to get to know somebody before you make rude comments," said Horner.

Baitt waived his preliminary hearing and the case was bound over to the Lake County Grand Jury.

Witnesses to the crash are asked to call the Willoughby Police Department at 440-952-4212. The Willoughby Police Traffic Crash Investigation Unit is investigating.

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