Toni Kniola: A county treasure, dies in accident

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Antoinette ‘Toni’ Kniola, 66, a fixture in the Switzerland County community, died on Saturday evening as a result of a bicycling accident.

Switzerland County Sheriff Roy Leap said that the accident occurred at approximately 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

The accident occurred on Long Run Road approximately 3,300 feet east of Mennets Hollow Road. Toni Kniola was traveling east on Long Run Road when her bicycle’s front tire hit her husband’s rear bicycle tire.

Investigators say that Toni Kniola applied her brakes, but lost control of her bicycle. She then crashed over an 8-10 foot embankment.

After the accident, officials say that she requested her husband, John Kniola, go for help. He then rode to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene and Toni Kniola was transported by Air Methods to University Hospital in Cincinnati.

It was there that she passed away due to her injuries.

Agencies assisting the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office included Switzerland County EMS, Jeff-Craig Fire Department, Vevay Police Department and the Switzerland County Coroner.

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Toni Kniola, affectionately known to her husband, John, as ‘Sweetie’, was born in Michigan City, Indiana; and was a 1966 graduate of St. Mary’s High School. She and John were married on December 29th, 1992, in Madison

Here in Switzerland County, she was known as an active community member, never shying away from working to make everyone’s quality of life better.

She was a member of the Most Sorrowful Mother of God Catholic Church in Vevay; and was a member of the Vevay American Legion Post #185 Ladies Auxiliary; the Red Hat Society; the Switzerland County YMCA; and the Switzerland County Republican Women’s Club.

She was the Republican candidate for Craig Township Trustee in this fall’s general election.

She was most well known for her involvement in the Historic Hoosier Theater, where she has served as President of its board of directors in the past, as well as serving on the board.

She was a life member of the Switzerland County Historical Society; and volunteered her time each year to help with the ‘Storyfest’ event held in Vevay for elementary school children.

She enjoyed the theater and antique cars, with she and John owning several unique vehicles that they enjoyed sharing with the community.

She is survived by her husband of 22 years, John Kniola; a granddaughter, Heather Kahne and her husband, Ashton, of San Diego, California; a grandson, Cody Christopher Topa and his wife, Heather, of Knoxville, Tennessee; and a great-grandson, Chris Topa.

She is also survived by two brothers a sister; and several nieces and nephews.

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A complete obituary of Toni Kniola can be found on page A-2 of today’s edition.