Coroner rules Rubber Duck Regatta founder's I-71 death a suicide - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Coroner rules Rubber Duck Regatta founder's I-71 death a suicide

The October death of Rubber Duck Regatta founder Bob Edwards on I-71 was ruled a suicide this week by the Hamilton County Coroner's Office. (FOX19 NOW file) The October death of Rubber Duck Regatta founder Bob Edwards on I-71 was ruled a suicide this week by the Hamilton County Coroner's Office. (FOX19 NOW file)
SILVERTON, OH (FOX19) -

The death of Rubber Duck Regatta founder Robert "Bob" Edwards on Interstate 71 is a suicide, the Hamilton County Coroner's Office announced Tuesday.

Edwards, 80, was struck and killed by a cement truck along southbound I-71 on Oct. 16. Authorities said he was driving in his Honda Accord when he pulled off onto the shoulder near Stewart Road.

According to state officials, video from an Ohio Department of Transportation traffic camera shows that Edwards' right turn signal was on when he got out of the car and walked into a lane of traffic. He was narrowly missed by a FedEx truck.

Then, Edwards went back to the shoulder and stood by the white line.

A few more vehicles passed and then he walked onto the highway again. That's when the cement truck tried to swerve and miss him

Unfortunately, the truck wasn't able to miss him. Edwards was struck and killed.

This account of the video lines up with the story witnesses told authorities at the scene: he got out of his car and walked into traffic.

"I wish we had some answers. A lot of times we don't get answers,” said Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco.

The report from the coroner's office says Edwards died from blunt force injuries to various parts of his body. Sammarco says it was a blow to the chest that ultimately killed him just seconds after impact. Only an over-the-counter allergy medicine was in his system at the time. There were no other drugs or alcohol.

"There were a lot of witnesses and there was a video tape. We looked at all the different aspects of this,” said Sammarco.

Sammarco says during the investigation, nothing out of the ordinary came up. No terminal illness diagnosis, no health surprises and no financial problems were found, she said.

"There really was nothing out of the ordinary. There was nothing alarming,” Sammarco told FOX19 NOW.

There was no note left behind.

"Every single person we talked to felt that this was so out of character for him,” said Sammarco.

His character was helping others. He founded the Rubber Duck Regatta that has raised enough money to provide 25-million meals for hungry kids.

"I don't think it takes anything away from what he has meant to this city and this community and how many thousands of people he helped,” said Sammarco.

Edwards was reportedly heading from one meeting to another when the accident happened.

He had two sons and a wife, Sylvia, 

The family released a statement Tuesday after the coroner's office announcement.

"Bob was a loving family member, a strong advocate for community causes, and a dedicated volunteer who gave his time and energy to help families in need," the statement read. "During his 50 years of service to the community, Bob taught us to live each day with faith, purpose and humility. We will always remember his trademark phrase when we faced a tough challenge – “So what are you going to do about it?”

"In that spirit, Bob would not want us to dwell on the past, but look ahead and ask, “What can I do to help others?” the statement continued. "We're grateful to everyone for your love, prayers and support for Bob and our family. Thank you to all who raise the bar a little higher in memory of Bob's amazing legacy."

The Freestore Foodbank also issued a statement on the ruling Tuesday. 

"The Freestore Foodbank honors the work of Bob Edwards by knowing that he was a tireless volunteer that provided more than 25 million meals to Tri-State children and families through his innovative leadership," the statement read. "His legacy is that he modeled the way for us as an organization and our many volunteers to continue to solve hunger together."

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