Keith Oeffinger, 36, a popular member of the Switzerland County community, died tragically in an accident early Sunday morning.
Vevay Police Chief James Richards said that at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning, town officers responded to the report of two men being injured on Washington Street in Vevay.
Upon arrival, the officers found Keith Oeffinger and Joseph Getz lying in the middle of Washington Street. Officers requested Switzerland County EMS because both of the men had suffered head injuries.
Both men were then transported to King’s Daughters’ Hospital in Madison; where Keith Oeffinger was pronounced dead. Joseph Getz was treated and released.
Officers conducting the initial investigation and interviewing witnesses said that it is believed that both of the men were attempting to ride on the trunk of a small black car, possibly a Honda Civic. As the drive accelerated, Keith Oeffinger and Joseph Getz were thrown from the trunk and onto the street.
At the time of the accident, the vehicle involved did not stop and left the scene.
Chief Richards said that at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, his office received a phone call from a female subject who stated that she was driving the Honda Civic.
“We asked her to come down here to the sheriff’s department,” James Richards said. “She lives about 45 minutes south of here in Kentucky. She came here and we interviewed her and took some evidence off of the vehicle.”
James Richards said that there was also a female passenger in the vehicle, and that officers have not yet had the opportunity to speak with the passenger.
“We conducted a few search warrants on cell phones and things like that, but we’re still just gathering information at this time,” Chief Richards said.
James Richards said that the driver stated that she had gone to school and hear from another student about what had happened, and after looking up the matter on the Internet, she realized that it was her.
The chief said that the identity of the driver has not been released pending the completion of the investigation, which he described as being approximately half way completed.
Details of the driver’s statement are also not being released. James Richards said that he did speak to the family and updated them on the investigation on Tuesday night.
Keith Oeffinger is a lifelong resident of Vevay, having graduated from Switzerland County High School; he went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in asset protection from Eastern Kentucky University.
After graduating from college, he began a career as a shift manager for Wal-Mart, working in Richmond, Kentucky for eight years before returning to Vevay to live while working in Lawrenceburg and Madison.
But the truly important part of Keith Oeffinger’s life was his family.
He met Sarah Kinman when he was just 15 years old; and that relationship grew and strengthened until the couple was married in 2002. During their 11 years of marriage, the couple was blessed with three daughters: Ariel, Keirstan, and Terra; and a fourth daughter, Leilah, is due later this year.
An avid sportsman, residents of the county will remember Keith Oeffinger as an outstanding athlete, a key part of Switzerland County High School basketball teams.
After returning here, he poured himself back into the community; coaching softball and basketball for several years; and last year he served as the coach of the Switzerland County Middle School sixth grade girls basketball team.
For a complete obituary of Keith Edward Oeffinger, please see page A-2 of today’s edition.