The owner of C & J Auto Recyclers died Monday afternoon when he was thrown from his motorcycle after it hit a guardrail on Old Lawrenceburg Road.
Charles Conway, 57, was turning onto the road from the East-West Connector around 1:30 p.m. when he hit a guardrail and a road sign, Frankfort Police Maj. Fred Deaton said in a news release. He was ejected from the bike and landed on a roadside embankment, Deaton said.
Conway was taken to Frankfort Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from injuries sustained in the crash, Deaton said.
Initial reports indicated Conway suffered head injuries and wasn’t breathing when responders arrived. He had not been wearing a helmet.
Paula Conway, Charles Conway’s widow, said her husband, known as “Jeep” for the recognizable 44-inch tires on his Jeep, enjoyed hunting, fishing, driving four-wheelers and visiting Black Mountain.
His brother was two cars behind him when the motorcycle crashed Monday, Paula Conway said. Her husband had purchased the bike Monday and was taking it out for its first drive. He knew how to drive motorcycles, but his expertise was in four-wheelers, she said.
“We just think he hit the gravel or some wet rocks in the road,” Paula Conway said today.
Conway was practically raised on the Kentucky River, she said, and held a number of local jobs throughout his life. He worked at Monroe Service Station, Schenley Distillers and installed drywall at Evergreen Baptist Church and Capital Plaza Hotel.
He opened C & J Auto Recyclers in 1990. Paula Conway described her husband as a jack-of-all-trades.
He leaves behind four children, Charles Conway, 37, Shannon Brown, 30, Jessika Conway, 25, and Elizabeth Conway, 20, and four grandchildren, Gavyn Scott, 13, Cara Adams and twin 19-month-old grandchildren, Liam and Lilli.
He was married 31 years.
“That’s a pretty good record for Frankfort I think,” Paula Conway told The State Journal. “(His loss) just means everything.”
Keith McDonald, an employee at C & J Auto Recyclers on Rouse Avenue off Holmes Street, told The State Journal he received word early Monday afternoon that his boss died in the wreck.
“I’ve known Charlie all my life,” McDonald said. “He’s more like a daddy. I’m just trying to take care of customers right now.”
Police closed the northbound lanes of Old Lawrenceburg Road between the East-West Connector and Big Eddy Road for a couple of hours as officers reconstructed the accident scene.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the wreck. The Frankfort Police Department Accident Reconstruction Unit is still investigating.
Services are pending at Harrod Brothers Funeral Home.