Prominent local attorney killed by hit-and-run driver in Linwood

Greater Cincinnati-based defense attorney Steven Adams, pictured during an interview with WCPO, February 2020.
Posted at 4:31 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 10:48:02-05

CINCINNATI — A hit-and-run crash claimed the life of a prominent local defense attorney early Sunday morning in Linwood.

Police said 55-year-old Steven Adams, a one-time assistant Hamilton County prosecutor, had been biking on Eastern Avenue around 6:35 when an unknown driver struck him and drove away.

Firefighters transported Adams to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died of his injures.

"This morning the Cincinnati area lost a great attorney," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, a former colleague of Adams', wrote in a statement Sunday afternoon. "He was an even better father and friend. Steven R. Adams was unforgettable. My prayers are with his wife and kids. May God rest his soul."

A makeshift memorial quickly sprang up on Eastern Ave., at the site of the crash, and other colleagues and friends said they remember Adams as a fearless presence in the courtroom and a valued friend.

"I'll miss his friendship," said Judge Robert Ruehlman, with the Hamilton County Common Please Court. "He's just a fun guy to hang out with, you know?"

Adams graduated from Chase College of Law in 1990 and was an assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor for eight years. He opened his private practice in 2000, according to information posted on his website. The firm specializes in defending clients accused of operating vehicles while intoxicated. Adams was also a divorce attorney.

Friends said Adams was consistently active outside the courtroom, often participating in triathalons.

"The thing about Steve is he's all about hard work and sticking to it no matter what," said Ruehlman. "No matter what the adversity is, he was just a hard worker. Very passionate. Anything he did he would do a great job at it."

Investigators do not yet know whether intoxication or excessive speed contributed to the crash that ended Adams' life.

Anyone with information about the crash, including the identity of the driver or the model of their vehicle, should call Cincinnati traffic investigators at 513-352-2514.