Drunk driving leads to 4 crashes, 2 fatal

Published: Sunday, July 08, 2012 @ 7:02 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 08, 2012 @ 8:18 PM

Drunk driving is suspected to have played a role in at least four out of five area traffic crashes involving motorcycles this weekend. Two of those crashes resulted in fatalities.

A 25-year-old man from Carlisle was killed Saturday night when he drove his motorcycle off the right side of Greenbush Road in Preble County and hit a utility pole.

The crash occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday just east of Gratis-Jacksonburg Road.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Robison  said Derrick Hamilton was wearing sunglasses while riding in the dark and was believed to be intoxicated at the time of the crash. He was not wearing a helmet and an initial coroner’s report indicates that his spinal cord was severed in the crash.

Robison said investigators are waiting on toxicology test results to determine Hamilton’s blood-alcohol content.

“Our fatalities are really up this year,” Robison said. So far this year, there have been 33 traffic fatalities in the area covered by the OSP Dayton Post, which includes Montgomery, Preble and Darke counties. Six of those crashes have involved motorcycles and six have been alcohol-related. Last year there were only four motorcycle fatalities across the same counties out of 59 total traffic fatalities.

Statewide, fatal crashes are up compared to last year, with 31 more fatalities reported than this time last year.

Robison said a number of factors could be leading to the increase in motorcycle fatalities including an abundance of warm weather days and high gas prices.

Police in Springfield are awaiting toxicology test results to determine if a driver who struck and killed a motorcyclist in that city Saturday night was under the influence of alcohol.

William Parks, 60, of Springfield, was killed and his wife Cindy Parks, 57, was injured when the motorcycle they were riding was struck and run over by a pickup truck on West High Street.

Police suspect that the driver of the pickup truck was intoxicated when he drove left of center through the intersection with South Yellow Springs Street and struck the bike and another car which were stopped at a red light.

Tracy Griffin and her 10-year-old daughter Taylor were in the car behind the motorcycle. She told News Center 7 that the driver of the pickup tried to leave the scene of the accident and appeared intoxicated. According to the crash report prepared by Springfield Police, the driver of the pickup was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol and was tested for alcohol and drugs.

No charges had been filed as of Sunday evening.

William Parks was a retired patrolman with the Springfield Division of Police, Sgt. Scott Woodruff confirmed. Cindy Parks was listed in fair condition at Miami Valley Hospital Sunday. Griffin said her daughter suffered a shoulder injury and was treated and released from Springfield Regional Medical Center.

Saturday’s fatal crash was the second motorcycle fatality of the year in Clark County. There was only one motorcycle fatality in Clark County last year.

The Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said alcohol may also be to blame for two other weekend motorcycle crashes that resulted in injuries.

The first crash occurred around 10:30 p.m. Saturday on the entrance ramp from Interstate 675 to Interstate 70. Clifford Combs, 56, of Springfield, drove off the left side of the ramp as he attempted to merge onto I-70 eastbound. He was ejected from his bike and sustained injuries.

The second crash occurred around 4:25 a.m. Sunday on westbound U.S. 40.  James D. Richart, 53, of Urbana, was traveling westbound and attempted to merge onto U.S. 68 north. He failed to negotiate the curve and drove his motorcycle off the left side of the road and through the median. He was ejected and flown to Miami Valley Hospital by Careflight helicopter.

Dayton Police are investigating a similar crash that happened early Sunday morning on Ohio 4 near Ohio 444.

A motorcyclist failed to negotiate a curve and hit a guardrail, according to police. The motorcycle traveled another 200 to 300 feet before stopping. The rider was transported to the hospital where blood tests were performed as part of standard procedure.

Husted bucks GOP, is against voter photo ID push

Published: Friday, April 08, 2011 @ 6:11 AM
Updated: Friday, April 08, 2011 @ 6:11 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The official who oversees Ohio's elections says he doesn't agree with a measure proposed by some fellow Republicans to require voters to show photo IDs at the polls.   

Secretary of State John Husted tells The Columbus Dispatch on Thursday that he would not change current policy that allows voters to prove their identities with photo IDs or other documents, such as utility bills or paychecks.   

A bill approved by the Ohio House would require voters to show the photo ID before casting an in-person ballot. It is now being reviewed by the Senate.   

Husted instead proposes changes for voters casting early ballots or provisional ballots. He says those voters should be required to give their full Social Security numbers instead of the currently required last four digits.

New restaurants, retail shops coming to Oxford

Published: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 2:25 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 4:37 PM

New restaurants and retail shops are coming to a development on the former Walmart site in Oxford.

Bishop Square — a 50,000-square-foot mixed use development at 419 Locust Street that currently includes 272 units of student housing — is adding Marco’s Pizza, Tim Hortons, a Sprint retail store and a bank.

“The final stage is important because we’ll be building the outlots that sit along Locust, which will serve as the front door to the whole project,” said Josh Rothstein, of Blue Ash-based OnSite Retail Group, which is handling marketing and leasing for the project. “The retailers and restaurants are excited to open their locations here because being across from Kroger, TJ Maxx and Dollar Tree provides tremendous exposure, great visibility and easy access to the shoppers already passing through this part of town.

“It’s also easily in walking distance to not only the concentration of Miami’s campus, but also the off-campus housing population,” Rothstein said.

Two other storefronts on the site are being are in the process of being leased, he said.

Existing Bishop Square tenants include Oxford Lane Library, Mercy Health - Orthopaedics and Sports Rehabilitation, Great Clips and Cloud 9 Vapor Lounge. A second-floor above some of those tenants includes office space.

Alan Kyger, Oxford’s economic development director, said the community is excited to see the Bishop Square project moving into its final phases.

“In 2005, when Walmart moved away from this site, the abandoned building that was left behind was a large eyesore for the Tollgate Business District, as well as for the whole community,” Kyger said. “Developer Robert Fiorita is to be commended in providing such a good-looking redevelopment project.

“The addition of these merchants will provide the citizens of Oxford additional shopping options. I expect each of these new businesses to be very successful in this new development.”

Marco’s Pizza has 700 stores in 35 states, doubling in size over the last five years and on track to 1,000 stores by the end of 2017, according to the company. Area locations include Middletown, Monroe, Hamilton and Liberty Twp. in Butler County.

Tim Hortons has more than 4,400 locations in the United States, Canada and the Middle East. Area locations include Monroe, Springboro and Maineville in Warren County.

Crash victim lived to fly, friend says

Published: Saturday, June 09, 2012 @ 8:16 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 09, 2012 @ 8:16 AM

A 73-year-old Bellbook man killed in a plane crash Saturday morning was an experienced pilot who had built four planes like the “experimental aircraft” he flew that day, according to his wife.

Roger Flower died in the 8 a.m. crash, said Sgt. Anthony Pearcy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

“Some witnesses in the area did see the plane flying and the witnesses believe they did see something fall off the plane,” he said.

Flying out of the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport in Greene County, the plane flown by Flower crashed about 100 yards from a house at 1856 Ohio 380. Debris from the crash spread about 300 feet and the plane had extensive damage.

Flower was a naval aviator for 31 years who still loved to fly in his retirement, said Jan Flower, his wife of 50 years.

“It was his life, ” she said. “He was flying a plane that he had built and flew out of Greene County Airport and was there every day and loved it.”

After retiring from the Navy, he became a certified aviation engineer and began building his own aircraft, his wife said.

“He knew what he was doing about building it and just loved it and wasn’t ready to give up airplanes, so he built them,” she said.

Both natives of Ohio, Roger and Jan Flower have four sons and moved to Bellbrook eight years ago, when they were done traveling with the Navy.

She described her husband as “a leader, totally confident. (He) could tackle anything, could build or fix anything, loved his children and his grandchildren, (and) loved serving in his church.”

The OHSP is investigating the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane was a fixed wing, single engine, experimental/homemade aircraft, according to the patrol.

“According to the family members, it’s been flown before,” said Pearcy.

There was no flight plan filed for the plane and the destination of the flight was unknown, Pearcy said.

“As unfortunate as this incident is, it is fortunate that no other people were involved,” Pearcy said.

Arrest made in slaying of businessman

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 7:44 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 7:44 PM

Police have arrested a 20-year-old Dayton man in the slaying of a business owner found dead inside a burned out garage last week.

Anthony Lamar Stargell Jr. was arrested Wednesday morning and is in the Montgomery County Jail pending the filing of an unclassified felony murder charge.

Dayton Sgt. Dan Mauch said detectives believe Stargell shot and killed 54-year-old Tommy Nickles before setting a fire inside 838 S. Main St. on April 3.

“The fire did not do the damage that the perpetrator expected,” Mauch said Wednesday afternoon. He said evidence collected inside the business and from Nickles’ stolen work van helped lead detectives to Stargell. The van was recovered by police late April 3 in the 400 block of Leland Avenue.

A search warrant was executed at 2905 Oakridge Drive on Wednesday, where Stargell occasionally stays with family. He was taken into custody at about 11 a.m.

Nickles, of Kettering, died from multiple gunshot wounds and was found in a garage where he ran Quality One Electrical Service. A Golden retriever that had been shot to death also was found in the building, police said.

Nickles' family confirmed last week that he had been living in the building because of a recent divorce. They said they couldn’t fathom why someone would want to kill the father of two. 

“Tom was a good man, he was a good father,” said Gavin Whitt, Nickles’ godson.

Mauch said Stargell and Nickles knew each other. He said police are investigating robbery as a possible motive or that Nickles possibly owed Stargell money.

“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” he said. Police also are trying to locate several individuals who may have stolen property belonging to Nickles.

According to court records, Stargell was convicted of robbery in February 2011 and sentenced to five years’ probation.

His mother, Tonya Bailey, said her son recently got out of prison, but she doesn’t believe that he is responsible for Nickles’ death.

“I don’t think that he did do it, but if he did do it he didn’t do it by himself,” she said.

She said Stargell wasn’t on South Main Street on the night Nickles was killed. “He was here,” she said at her mother’s house on Wednesday.