Church service for beloved organist killed on Beechmont Avenue

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ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) – Shock and sadness reign in the aftermath of a fatal pedestrian strike on Beechmont Avenue.

The victim was a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati, a beloved musician in a tri-state church, and, according to at least one testimony, a gentle and kind man.

Jee Han Park left most of his family in South Korea to study music at UC. He has spent the past seven years as a pianist and organist at Madison Avenue Christian Church in Covington.

Park would have turned 57 on Thursday, but around 11 p.m. Wednesday, a driver left Beechmont Avenue in Anderson Township and struck him while walking on the bike path.

The impact of the collision knocked Park into an adjacent front yard. First responders declared him dead at the scene.

Kathy Groob, spokesperson for Madison Avenue Christian Church, said Park performs there every Sunday, filling the air with her music.

“Whether it was the organ or the piano, you would often see him pass quietly from one to the other during the service, and I just called him a lover,” Groob said. “She was just a wonderful, wonderful soul.”

Groob remembers her shock when she heard the news.

“I saw the information coming in last night about a serious accident, and they didn’t give any names at the time … This morning our church youth minister emailed , and when I saw … sadness … .. and its name … I was just in shock. I can’t even tell you what the email said after that She said.

Groob adds that Park was just about to finish his doctorate.

She also says that there is going to be a void in the church in the future.

“I was there earlier today, and I just saw the piano and the keys without this lovely young man who was taken from us far too early in such a tragic way … This Sunday is going to be a play.” empty. We’re not going to have music. We just can’t imagine anyone else playing the piano without him, ”she said.

After hitting Park, the car, driven by Andrea Bengal, 48, struck a telephone pole.

Bengal was trapped in her vehicle with live wires for some time thereafter. UC Air Care airlifted her to hospital with serious injuries, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities believe drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash.

No update was provided on Bengal’s state of health or any charges she may be facing.

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