On Friday (2/15) at 8:38 a.m. Ontario County Deputies responded to the intersection of County Road #6 and Route 96 in Phelps for a report of a vehicle over the embankment, unknown for how long.
The vehicle was northbound on County Road #6, failed to stop at the stop sign at Route 96, crossed Route 96 and went over the embankment on the north side of Route 96 and came to rest approximately 40 yards down in the creek on its side.
The operator, Owen F. Cooner, age 77, of 8020 Ridge Road East in Sodus was found to be in the vehicle, deceased. Subsequent investigation revealed that the operator was reported missing by the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina on 01/31/13. Owen was enroute from Hilda, SC to Sodus, NY. On 1/29/13 he spoke to three friends via telephone from the vicinity of Carlisle, PA. They indicated he was driving a 1997 Silver Chevrolet truck with a dark color camper cap on the truck, with NYS plates. Conner was traveling North on Rt. 81, and stated he planned to take Routes 15 and 14 north traveling home to Sodus. He did not arrive home in Sodus, nor was he heard from since January 29, 2013.
Conner was a life-long resident of Sodus. At Nick’s Restaurant in Alton he was a regular and several employees said he was like a Dad to everyone.
The investigation is continuing.