Recent Steele grad dies after crash

By Jason Hawk -

A recent Amherst Steele High School graduate has died of injuries sustained in a crash in Seneca County.

Michael Cool, 18, of Lorain, attended the Lorain County JVS and graduated from the vocational school and Steele this May. He worked at Ganley Imports in Cleveland and also operated a small handyman business called Mr. Fix-It.

State troopers said around 7:55 p.m. on Sept. 27, Cool was driving a 1998 Lincoln east on Rt. 162 in Reed Township. That’s when a 2012 Toyota Camry driven by Sydney Vaughn, 18, of Attica, slammed into Cool’s driver-side door.

The Steele alum was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He was cut loose from his damaged car and flown to Toledo for treatment.

Vaughn, who had been wearing a seat belt, was taken to a Bucyrus hospital.

According to his obituary with Boyer & Cool Home for Funerals in Lorain, Cool loved to work outdoors and was happiest when working on cars. “He was very generous and loved the rodeo and farming. He loved to be the ‘life of the party’ and making everyone laugh. He was a true joy to be with,” the obituary said.

Jill Petitti, principal at the JVS, said Cool was personable, had a great sense of humor, had a terrific work ethic, and was respectful but very strong-willed.

“When he put his mind to something, it would get done,” she said.

Cool was a four-year student in the industrial equipment mechanics program. Petitti said he was popular with his fellow students, who decided to make and sign a six-foot banner for the grieving family.

The JVS will hold a blue jeans and flannel shirts day Friday in memory of Cool’s favorite outfits. His family also requested everyone wear blue jeans and flannel shirts to visitation and funeral.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday at the Lorain County Fairgrounds show barn in Wellington. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the same venue with a pick-up truck procession to the Vermillion Cemetery in Hayesville.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk