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I-70 crash: Wrong-way driver’s death a suicide

Published: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 @ 2:01 PM
Updated: Tuesday, July 07, 2015 @ 7:57 PM


            Investigators still trying to understand head-on crash on I-70
Investigators still trying to understand head-on crash on I-70

UPDATE @ 515 p.m. (July 7): The death of Christopher Coleman, the 35-year-old driver from Xenia in the I-70 wrong-way crash on April 14, was a suicide, the Clark County coroner has determined.

The ruling is based on all the evidence and reports provided, the coroner said in a prepared statement released by the Ohio Highway Patrol post in Springfield. During the autopsy, there was Cannabinoids (THC) present in Coleman’s blood at the time of the crash, the coroner said in the statement.

The other driver, 64-year-old Craig Martin of Steubenville, was slightly injured in the crash, according to the patrol.

UPDATE @ 3 p.m. April 15:

Christopher Coleman had a lengthy driving record, but the Ohio State Patrol has confirmed he held a valid driver’s license. We are working to find out more about the man who reportedly crossed the interstate and apparently drove intentionally head on into a semi. We’ll have the latest on NewsCenter 7 beginning at 5 p.m. tonight.

UPDATE @ 1:45 p.m. April 15:

The driver who hit the semi after going the wrong way on I-70 has a long criminal record.

Christopher Coleman served time in an Ohio prison for aggravated robbery in a Greene County case. He went to prison on Feb. 14, 2003, and served nearly five years.

Valerie Coleman, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Corrections, said Coleman was either arrested or violated his post release control in 2011. He completed his parole on April 2, 2013.

According to court records, Coleman had an extensive driving record, including multiple charges and convictions of driving under suspension, the latest in November 2014.

UPDATE @ 10:30 a.m. April 15:

Authorities had received a 911 call about a wrong way driver on Interstate 70 just 16 seconds before the fatal crash occurred.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office got the first 911 call about the wrong way driver at at 1:45:30 in the afternoon, and the first call about the collision came in at 1:45:46.

UPDATE @ 9:19 p.m. April 14: The investigation into the deadly, head-on two-vehicle crash on I-70 East will include the possibility that the wrong-way driver who plowed into a semitrailer committed suicide, said Sgt. Richard Dixon, Ohio Highway Patrol.

He noted that the crash, which shut down the eastbound lanes for approximately four hours, remains under investigation.

Dixon said investigators have a video of the crash recorded by Jason, a Huber Heights resident who was on his way home from his job in Springfield when the accident occurred. The state patrol also has video recorded from the nearby Speedway corporate office headquarters in Enon, the sergeant said.

Jason, in an interview after the accident, said, “It looked like the semi driver was trying to get away from it … but you really can’t predict a car is gonna come right at ya. I honestly think it was intentional, suicide.”

Chris A. Coleman, 35, of Xenia, died at the scene after he was ejected in the collision involving his 2009 Mazda 3 and a 1998 Freightliner semitrailer hauling steel coils, just east of milepost 48, the Springfield OHP Post said in a statement released tonight.

Craig S. Martin, 64, of Steubenville, who was driving the semi, refused medical treatment at the scene, according to the patrol.

UPDATE @ 7:29 p.m. April 14: I-70 East has been reopened, a dispatcher with the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

UPDATE @ 4:50 p.m. April 14: An eyewitness who recorded the deadly head-on two-vehicle crash on I-70 East said he believes the driver of the car purposely caused the accident, that it was “intentional, suicide.”

The fatality has been identified as Chris A. Coleman, 35, of Xenia, according to crash investigators.

The eyewitness, identified only as Jason (he asked not to be identified by his full name), said the car was in front of him when it suddenly whipped through “one of those U-turn emergency areas” on the interstate.

“All of a sudden, they just drove right at that semi,” Jason said. “It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. My phone actually dropped a little bit … because I couldn’t believe what I had seen.”

Jason, a machinist who works in Springfield, has spoken with a 911 operator about what he saw and told the dispatcher about his cellphone video. He was on his way home from work early when the grisly scene unfolded before his eyes.

“It took me a second to even comprehend what I had just seen,” he said. “It looked like the semi driver was trying to get away from it … but you really can’t predict a car is gonna come right at ya. I honestly think it was intentional, suicide.”

When the car jumped over to the other lanes, the driver veered right for the oncoming traffic, the eyewitness said.

“I seen it live and got that rolling through my mind,” he said. “I don’t need to watch the video” anymore.

FIRST REPORT

The Ohio Highway Patrol confirms that one person has been killed in a crash on Interstate 70 East in Clark County this afternoon.

The deceased person was in a car that was driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes, according to the state patrol. The car crashed head-on into a fully loaded semitrailer shortly before 2 p.m. and both vehicles erupted in flames.

The driver of the semi was able to escape without injury.

The semi was hauling rolls of steel, and the steel was on the highway and on fire when crews arrived.

Initial reports indicate 150 gallons of diesel fuel has spilled, and the EPA has been called to the scene.

As of 3:30 p.m., eastbound lanes were still closed. Officials are hoping to have the highway reopened by 5 p.m.

The best alternate route for motorists on Interstate 70 can exit at Spangler Road, go north on U.S. 40 in Medway, go east on U.S. 40 to U.S. 68 in Springfield, go south on U.S. 68 and back onto eastbound I-70.

Suspect arrested by Dayton police in double-shooting has Monday court date

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 9:46 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 10:32 PM

Double shooting: Gunshot victims had baby in car

UPDATE @ 10:15 p.m. (Nov. 17): Dayton police have made an arrest in Thursday night’s double-shooting they believe occurred in the city and involved a pursuit that ended up in Harrison Twp. with two victims and a 1-year-old, in their car.

Michael Sanders, 44, was arrested just before 1 a.m. Friday, according to Montgomery County Jail records. Police investigators are working their theory that he and the victims were the only three adults involved in the incident.

Police also have seized a vehicle they think Sanders was driving.

According to the police incident report, police list the 3900 block of Necco Avenue in Dayton, near North Gettysburg Avenue, as the location where the incident began. Deputies and police found the car carrying the victims and the child on Evansville Avenue near Falmouth Avenue in Harrison Twp., several blocks to the north of Necco.

Police have not said Sanders was the shooter, but he is being detained as the only suspect in the case.

He remains in jail tonight, with a scheduled Monday court date on several felony charges that include five counts of felonious assault, and single counts of having weapons as a convict and illegal discharge of a firearm.

Michael Sanders (Courtesy/Montgomery County Jail)

Police have not released the names of the male, 25, and female, 20, wounded in the shooting.

The 1-year-old boy, in the rear seat of the shot-up car, is in the custody of family members. He is believed to be related to the woman, who was the driver, police said.

EARLIER REPORT (Nov. 16)

A young child was riding in a car with two gunshot victims Thursday night, officials said.

The gunshot victims were in a car that stopped on Evansville Avenue in the block just south of the Falmouth Avenue intersection in Harrison Twp.

>> 1 shot, wounded in Dayton apartment building

The double-shooting possibly occurred along or near North Gettysburg Avenue in Dayton.

The victims are a male and a female, and one was reportedly shot in the chest, according to reports. 

A woman who described herself of the aunt of the female victim said the boy was a year old.

One deputy was seen holding a baby inside a cruiser before Montgomery County Children Services investigators arrived on scene.

>> Miami U. student accused of filming rape of unconscious student

Police were dispatched just after 9 p.m. on the report of a double-shooting.

Male, female shot in double shooting in Harrison Twp.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Serena Williams shares wedding photos in new interview

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 10:50 PM

Alexis Ohanian (left) and Serena Williams were married in New Orleans Thursday. Vogue spoke to Williams about her big day and shared dozens of photos.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com/Getty Images for People.com
Alexis Ohanian (left) and Serena Williams were married in New Orleans Thursday. Vogue spoke to Williams about her big day and shared dozens of photos.(Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com/Getty Images for People.com)

Tennis icon Serena Williams married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans Thursday, and gave the first official photos to Vogue magazine to share.

The ceremony was in front of 200 guests made up of family and friends -- Venus Williams, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian Anna Wintour, Ciara and the newlyweds’ 2-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. among them. 

>> Read more trending news

Williams detailed her big day for Vogue in a story published Friday.

“Alexis really wanted to do New Orleans. It’s his favorite city besides Brooklyn,” Williams said. “It’s got a heavy European influence; it’s fun and has amazing food. He just loves the vibe. The venue—the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans—was a decision we both made. Painting and art is something I’m really passionate about, so it just felt natural and different to do it at a contemporary art museum.”

The wedding date  -- Nov. 16 -- held special importance for both as it was Ohanian’s late mother’s birthday.

“Obviously, we wish that she could be here for this, but choosing her birthday as our wedding date was a nice way of making sure she’s still involved and made us feel more connected to her on our day,” Williams told Vogue.

The “Beauty and the Beast” themed wedding included a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen ball gown that Williams walked down the aisle in. The venue was designed similar to a fashion show.

“I wanted the whole thing to be as nontraditional as possible,” Williams said. “We did sofas instead of chairs, with everything facing the aisle instead of the altar.”

Baby Alexis was carried down the aisle by Williams’ mother, Oracene Price, and Williams’ best friend, Val Vogt, carried the athletes Yorkshire terrier, Chip, down the aisle. The dog, which Williams has referred to as her son, wore a tiny tuxedo and top hat.

What You Didn’t Know about Serena Williams

The two exchanged personally written vows to each other before changing outfits for the reception. In between the ceremony and reception, guests were at a cocktail hour outside. A second line parade brought guests back inside, where guests dined on Southern, Armenian and Italian food at four long tables named after Williams’ Grand Slam wins.

“Serena wanted a ball, but she wanted a modern ball, not anything that was too stuffy,” event designer Preston Bailey said of the reception.

Williams changed into a custom feathered and beaded Versace dress after the couple was introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Alexis Ohanian. The newlyweds did a choreographed first dance and later in the evening danced on stage as New Edition performed.

Early Friday morning, the event ended with a surprise: Ohanian brought out a carousel for his new bride.

Read more about Williams and Ohanian’s wedding at Vogue.com.

Trump delays lifting ban on import of elephant trophies from Africa

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 8:37 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 8:37 PM



Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
(Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Update (Friday, November 17)

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Friday he’s delaying a new policy allowing the body parts of African elephants shot for sport to be imported until he can review “all conservation facts.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that it will allow the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport. The agency said encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs.

Animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision. On Friday, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged the administration to reverse the policy, calling it the “wrong move at the wrong time.”

Trump said that the policy had been “under study for years.” He says he will review the issue with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Earlier

The Trump administration plans to lift a ban on Friday that barred big game hunters from bringing trophies from elephants killed in a pair of African nations to America, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

A spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told ABC News in a statement Wednesday that the decision was made after officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia provided them with information to support a reversal of the ban.

"Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation," the spokesperson told ABC News.

The decision will overturn a 2014 ban implemented by President Barack Obama’s administration in response to falling elephant populations. 

African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A provision in the act, however, allows for the government to give permits that let people import trophies from such animals if evidence shows that hunting them helps conservation efforts, according to NBC News.

The rule reversal will apply to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe from Jan. 21, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2018, the news station reported. It will also apply to elephants killed in Zambia in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and “applications that meet all other applicable permitting requirements,” a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson told NBC News.

According to the 2016 Great Elephant Census, Savanna elephant populations fell by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014. About 352,000 elephants were spotted during the survey, 82,300 in Zimbabwe and 21,700 in Zambia.

Both countries had areas that saw substantial declines in elephant populations along the Zambezi river in Zambia and in Zimbabwe’s Sebungwe region, according to the census.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tim McGraw weighs in on Blake Shelton’s new ‘sexy’ title

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 10:35 PM

Tim McGraw [L] (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) | Blake Shelton [R] (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Tim McGraw [L] (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) | Blake Shelton [R] (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

You can tell from Blake Shelton’s reaction to winning People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” honors that the award is one to be taken lightly. The tall and talented Okie has been appreciative yet modest about the recognition and, at times, he’s even self-deprecating. But his good friends, including Tim McGraw, have got his back.

>> Read more trending news

Sort of.

McGraw and wife Faith Hill appeared on the nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” radio show Thursday, and it turns out there are several country fans who would have liked to see the “Humble and Kind” singer win the magazine cover instead.

And those country fans aren’t shy about sharing their feelings.

McGraw read one tweet from a fan who said, “We all know that Blake Shelton is not the sexiest man alive, especially in country music. We know that nobody holds a candle to George Strait or Tim McGraw, so how about we redo the Sexiest Man Alive thing?”

After a solid chuckle, McGraw admitted, “I think Blake is pretty sexy,” and Hill added, “He has a great sense of humor, and that is sexy.”

No doubt!

Host Ty Bentli also shared a tweet that read, “Blake Shelton looks like the dad in a drug commercial where they list the side effects at the end while you watch him build a birdhouse.”

OK, we love Shelton to pieces, but that’s hilarious, y’all!

And we imagine Shelton would find it funny, too, because as Bentli confirmed, “The best part is, he was just in here and he totally will take this and he loves it.”

McGraw added, “When you’re the sexiest man alive, you can take anything.”

Also true.

Shelton is sexy, McGraw is sexy, Hill is sexy, Bentli, Kelly and Chuck are sexy … there’s just a whole lotta sexy goin’ on in country music. But of that group, only Shelton, McGraw and Hill are nominated for Rare Country Awards.

Hill leads with four nominations, while Shelton and McGraw are tied with three apiece. It’s up to you to decide the winners! Vote now through Dec. 13 at RareCountryAwards.com. Winners will be revealed during a livestreamed concert event on Dec. 14 in Nashville.