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.

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.

Unpaid tickets from red light cameras total in the millions

Published: Friday, June 24, 2011 @ 9:45 AM
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2011 @ 9:45 AM

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

DAYTON, Ohio -- Authorities in the southwest Ohio city of Dayton are ready to crack down on drivers who don't pay red-light camera tickets.

City officials say more than 46,000 tickets worth $3.89 million are unpaid. That's nearly half of all such tickets issued in the last eight years.

The Dayton Daily News says city commissioners could vote next week on an ordinance allowing the city to tow cars that have two or more unpaid tickets. Drivers would have to pay the fines to get their cars back.

Hundreds of U.S. cities now use the cameras, which take pictures of vehicles going through intersections with red lights. Drivers are mailed a citation. In Dayton, the fine is $85, but no points are assessed against the driver's license.

Report outlines problems with red-light, speed cameras

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 3:56 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 3:56 PM

A new research report released today outlines problems with the growing trend among cities to outsource traffic enforcement to red-light and speed camera vendors. “Too many cities wrongly sign away power to ensure the safety of citizens on the roads when they privatize traffic law enforcement. Automated traffic ticketing tends to be governed by contracts that focus more on profits than safety.” said Jacqueline Thomas of Ohio PIRG, the Ohio Public Interest Research Group. “That shouldn’t happen,” Thomas added.

The report, titled Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead; The Risks of Privatizing Traffic Law Enforcement and How to Protect the Public finds that approximately half of states have enabled the use of automated traffic law enforcement. Municipalities in these states contract with private companies to provide cameras and issue citations to traffic violators.

Citizens have often objected to privatized forms of traffic enforcement and many municipalities have found themselves in legal trouble when they attempt to change or update these contracts. Traffic engineering alternatives, such as lengthening yellow lights, are often the best way to reduce injuries from red-light running.

However, those solutions too often get ignored because contractors and sometimes municipalities are more focused on increasing revenue from tickets. “Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead raises critical warnings about revenue priorities overtaking safety concerns. This report is a must-read for city administrators in municipalities considering the addition of red light cameras, for authorities in communities that already have ticket cameras, and for motorists who are subjected to the privatized, for-profit automated traffic enforcement scheme known as red light cameras,” said Gary Biller, Executive Director of the National Motorists Association.

In Ohio, red-light cameras have been a contentious topic, with voters banning traffic cameras in Heath, Chillicothe and Cincinnati, paving the way for other communities to try to organize their own ballot initiatives. Columbus City Council has approved more red light cameras to be installed throughout the city, with the latest camera set to “go live” at 12:01 am October 27th, 2011, issuing citations to motorists caught running the red light at Olentangy River Road at Henderson Road.

State Representative Courtney Combs, R- Hamilton, introduced legislation in 2009 that would prohibit the use of red light cameras by Ohio State Highway Patrol, counties and townships. According to Representative Combs, “red light cameras are a money machine for political subdivisions to penalize their own citizens.” The report recommends stronger guidelines to ensure that automated traffic enforcement programs must focus on improving road safety, rather than ticket revenue.

Deals between local governments and traffic camera vendors should:

* Put public safety first in decisions regarding enforcement of traffic laws – this includes evaluating privatized law enforcement camera systems against alternative options without regard to potential revenues. * Ensure that contract language is free from potential conflicts of interest.


* Avoid direct or indirect incentives for vendors that are based on the volume of tickets or fines.


* Retain public control over traffic policy and engineering decisions, including cancelling contracts if the public is dissatisfied.

* Ensure that the process of contracting with vendors is completely open, with ample opportunity for public participation and each ticket listing where to find online data about automated ticketing for each intersection.

“We are lucky that Ohio hasn’t yet seen the controversy and lawsuits over red-light cameras found in states like California, Florida, Missouri, Texas, and Washington. Looking at the growth of this industry around the country and all across our state, we want to learn from problems elsewhere to prevent them in Ohio,” said Thomas.

For more information, read report here.

Four local teens qualify for Olympic trials

Published: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 @ 3:12 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 @ 3:12 AM

InfoSource--Dayton Daily News

Patrick Mulcare (Springboro) and Cliff Goertemiller (Oakwood) set Ohio records and joined Dayton Raiders teammates Brett Mackenzie (Tipp City) and Colin Kanzari (Beavercreek) in qualifying for next year’s U.S. Olympic Trials during last week’s Junior National Championships at Stanford University.

Mulcare and Goertemiller both set their records in the 15-16 boys division. Mulcare was timed in 4 minutes, 26.30 seconds for the 400 intermediate medley. He placed eighth.  Goertemiller was timed in 15:44.69 to reset the state mark in the 1,500 free. He placed sixth.

Their efforts count as state records because they are registered as Ohio swimmers.

Also qualifying for the Trials at Omaha, Neb., were Mackenzie (4:30.24 in the 400 IM, 19th) and Kanzari (2:20.68 in the 200 breaststroke, 16th).

Other Raiders to participate in the National Championships were Jack Pohlmann (Beavercreek), Josh Quallen (Wilmington), Brock Turner (Oakwood), Alex Osterhage (Centerville) and Henrick Pohlmann (Beavercreek).