Served: 13 years
1949 to July 16, 1962
Emil was born March 1, 1919, the fifth child born to German immigrant Adolph Lawrence and Sarah B. (Morrise) Kleinwaechter of Price Hill. By 1940, he was working as a photo developer.
Emil was inducted into the United States Army on June 2, 1941 at Fort Thomas. He served at the District Headquarters Military Police Detachment of the 1909 Service Command Unit and was honorably discharged December 1, 1945.
By 1949, Emil had joined the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and was serving on its road patrol.
On February 19, 1951 Deputy Kleinwaechter was driving his cruiser on Sheits Road near New Baltimore when 14-year-old Frank Sterwerf fired a shotgun twice at his cruiser. Fifty pellets splattered against his driver’s door; six went through his hat; and five entered his head. Fortunately, none penetrated his skull. The child was found to believe that he was protecting his mother from a recent prowler.
By 1962, he was living at 506 Smiley Road in Glendale with his wife and four children.
On July 16, 1962, at 7:30 p.m., Lawrence F. Dugle (62), of 5041 Eastwood Drive, had a flat tire in front of the Friarhurst Retreat House, 8136 Wooster Road, near Newtown. This location was in a stretch of road often referred to as “Deadman’s Gulch.” Robert Huxell (21), of 2178 Compton Road, observed Mr. Dugle and stopped to change the tire. At nearly the same time, Mrs. George Pfeiffer, of 101 Redbird Lane, driving her son, Bobby to a doctor due to a bicycle accident, struck Mr. Huxell’s vehicle causing it to strike Mr. Dugle’s vehicle, pinning Huxell between the vehicles.
Deputy Kleinwaechter responded to the scene, tended to the injured Huxell and placed flares in the road on Wooster Pike, east of Newtown Road. He also positioned his patrol car with the red-light flashing, and then, with flashlight in hand, directed traffic around the vehicles.
At about 8:30 p.m., Donald Gene Hughes (21), of 123½ Main Street, Milford, at a high rate of speed, crossed over the centerline and drove his vehicle into Deputy Kleinwaechter. The deputy was thrown 87 feet into another officer directing traffic in the opposite direction.
Deputy Kleinwaechter was killed almost instantly. His body was taken to Mercy Hospital in Mariemont where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Deputy Kleinwaechter was survived by his wife, Ellen (Seim) Kleinwaechter; children, Gary Kleinwaechter (11), Teri Kleinwaechter, Mary Kleinwaechter, and Gerald Kleinwaechter (1); and siblings, Alice Mara, Edward Kleinwaechter, Paul Kleinwaechter, and Frederick Kleinwaechter.
A Requiem High Mass was held at Saint Gabriel Church at 9:30 a.m. on July 20, 1962 and he was buried thereafter at Arlington Memorial Gardens. Hamilton County deputy sheriffs and Cincinnati patrolmen served as pallbearers.
Hughes was charged with Manslaughter and Reckless Driving. He was indicted for Second Degree Manslaughter on October 26, 1962. On March 15, 1963, the Grand Jury returned seven more indictments, including driving an unroadworthy vehicle. On June 10, 1963, he was convicted of Second-Degree Manslaughter with a possible sentence of 20 years. On August 28, Judge Louis J. Schneider sentenced him to an indeterminate term in the reformatory.
Hughes served less than 2 years later and was re-issued a driver’s license in September 1965. Five months later, during February 1966, Judge Paul Gilday convicted him of driving another unroadworthy vehicle and, additionally, ordered Ohio Police to investigate the circumstances of his having a driver’s license. It was determined to be a clerical omission by the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. Hughes was in front of Judge Gilday again on November 14, 1968 when he was found guilty of enticing a teenaged girl to meet him at a parking lot. After he was released from jail for that offense, we believe he moved to Florida where he was arrested again, during 2007, on drug charges and died in 2009.
Teri Kleinwaechter, in 1973, was appointed Deputy Sheriff at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. She later took a clerical job with the Sheriff’s Office. Teri (Kleinwaechter) Obert retired in 2021.
If you know of any information, archives, artifacts, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was revised on June 21, 2018 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Director, with great assistance from the officer’s daughter, Teri (Kleinwaechter) Obert. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.