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Woman traumatized by fatal wrong-way crash in Clark County

Published: Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 8:59 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 @ 12:55 AM

Woman saw wrong-way driver just before fatal I-70 crash

Update@3:40 p.m.

WHIO reporter Sean Cudahy on Monday spoke to a 911 caller who passed Vanderpool’s car just before it struck the semi. 

The caller, who asked not to be identified, said she’s counting her blessings after going through the traumatic experience. 

"Thank God I made it home," the Springfield Twp. woman said. 

The woman was driving east on I-70 just before 8:30 p.m. Saturday when she saw something that confused, then scared her. 

RELATED: Wrong-way driver in I-675 double fatal was intoxicated

“All of a sudden I see lights and you think lights on the other side, and I'm thinking, ‘no, these lights are over here,’ and I was like, he's going the wrong way," she said.

 The driver she she saw turned out to be Vanderpool, who Troopers say got onto I-70 east the wrong way at Route 68 and traveled about three miles before the crash. The eyewitness said she’s never seen or heard anything like it before. 

"All of a sudden he passes and I hear the loudest thing you could ever heard, and I go ‘wow,” she said. “He hit something, and then I saw just flames and smoke." 

The woman said she’s been replaying the crash in her head over-and-over, and she’s just glad she made it home safely. 

“A moment either way, I could have been further back and then when he hit the truck, that could have impacted me," she said. 

The driver of the semi that Vanderpool’s car struck suffered non-life threatening injuries.

>> Huber Heights man killed in wrong-way crash on I-70

Update @ 2:10 p.m.: 

WHIO reporter Sean Cudahy obtained an ODOT video of the crash through a public records request.

The video shows a sedan off in the distance, and it appears to change lanes. Moments later, it collides with the semi truck.

Shortly after that collision, eyewitnesses starting sending videos into our newsroom showing the semi truck engulfed in flames.

The impact killed the driver of that sedan, 30-year-old Joshua Vanderpool of Enon.

His relatives said Sunday they couldn't understand what could have caused that crash.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is working to determine the cause. 

"We're speaking with all witnesses, trying to get ahold of family and things like that, to try and figure out what happend with that,” said Lt. Brian Aller. 

“However, the video is quite clear as to what happened: the car was going the wrong way, changed lanes in front of the semi, and appeared to actually speed up as it was going toward the semi."

We are working to get recording of a 911 call from a witness who said they saw Vanderpool driving the wrong way just before the crash. 

First report: The driver who died after slamming head-on into a semi during a fiery wrong-way crash Saturday night on Interstate 70 in Clark County was identified as Joshua Vanderpool of Enon.

  • Car, semi collide on I-70 E at 47 mile marker
  • Both vehicles catch fire upon impact
  • Vanderpool, 30, driving 2004 Pontiac Sunfire, dies at scene
  • Semi driver Denis Yatsunov, 43, of New Jersey suffers minor injuries

Vanderpool, 30, of Enon, was killed at the scene of the 8:21 p.m. crash, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Springfield Post.

Joshua Vanderpool stands behind a sign for his lawn mowing business(Contributed)

He was driving a blue 2004 Pontiac Sunfire west in the eastbound I-70 lanes at the 47 mile marker in Mad River Twp. when he struck a red 2009 Volvo commercial semi driven by Denis Yatsunov, 43, of Cresskil, N.J., that was headed east.

RELATED: 911 callers warn of wrong-way driver on SB I-75 prior to fiery crash

The semi driver attempted to avoid the Pontiac headed the wrong way, but the Pontiac apparently turned in the same direction and struck the semi head-on in the inside berm. both vehicles caught fire after impact, troopers said.

VIDEO: Semi catches fire on I-70 East in Clark County

“Josh was a good driver,” said his father, George Vanderpool, who mentioned Saturday night’s foggy conditions. “I think he got turned around.”

Yatsunov was wearing his seat belt and was taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

Vanderpool was a registered sex offender, according to Clark County Sheriff’s Office records. Sheriff’s records indicate Vanderpool had a 2008 conviction for pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and in 2009 for voyeurism.

In 2007 Vanderpool, then 20, was accused of putting pornographic images onto a computer at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Enon.

“He was a good, churchgoing guy,” church council vice president Dan Van Fleet said a decade ago. “Extremely shocked. We were all really … very shocked.”

Johua Vanderpool is shown playing the piano(Contributed)

Court records indicated Vanderpool took inappropriate photos of juveniles without their knowledge and mixed them with pornographic images from the internet to created a slide show.

George Vanderpool said his son was turning his life around the past few years and had a lawnmower and snow removal business. He also said his son had bought a bunch of bread from a grocery store to take to take with him to Enon’s food pantry, where he volunteered on Mondays.

Contributed by Jen Bailey-Tipple on Facebook.

Troopers first received reports of a sedan headed west in the eastbound lanes around 8:21 p.m., according to the patrol. At 8:23 p.m., calls came in about a semi on fire, and troopers at 8:30 p.m. confirmed those reports were linked.

The crash remains under investigation.

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

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Springfield man holds alleged thief at gunpoint until police arrive

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 7:30 AM

A collection of crime stories from the Springfield News-Sun.

A Springfield man held another man accused of breaking into multiple vehicles at gunpoint as he waited for police arrive, according to a police report.

MORE: Springfield woman allegedly assaults man for bashing Barack Obama

John B. Morgan, 26, of Springfield, pleaded not guilty to drug possession charges in Clark County Municipal Court on Sunday. Bond was set at $5,000.

Springfield police officers were sent to the 100 block of Roseland Drive at about 6 a.m. Saturday morning about a car theft, the report said. Upon their arrival, a witness was standing in the street with Morgan at gunpoint, it said.

The witness told police he checked his car after his alarm went off and he later allegedly saw Morgan walking down the street with a flashlight, shining it into other vehicles. Morgan then allegedly got into a car that belonged to another neighbor, it said. The witness then approached Morgan with his gun and told him to get on the ground until officers arrived.

Morgan allegedly took gift cards from McDonald’s and Wendy’s, the report said.

Police also allegedly found several prescription drugs in Morgan’s cinch bag, including fentanyl patches, Clonazepan, Alprazom and Flexeril, the report said.

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Springfield man allegedly breaks into home to steal television

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 8:16 AM


            FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

A Springfield man is facing aggravated burglary charges after he allegedly attempted to break into a home to steal a television, according to a police report.

MORE CRIME: Springfield man holds alleged thief at gunpoint until police arrive

Michael Franklin, 22, of 308 W. Liberty Ave., pleaded not guilty in Clark County Municipal Court on Sunday morning. Bond was set at $20,000.

On Oct. 15, police were sent to a home in the 100 block of Euclid Avenue to investigate a burglary. A witness told police he was asleep on the couch when he heard a loud noise. He allegedly saw Franklin attempt to take a television, but Franklin ran away when he realize the witness was awake, the report said. A shoving match led to the witness being pushed to the ground and Franklin ran into an alley behind the home. The man told police he knows Franklin because he mowed grass for a woman he knows, it said.

Police recovered fingerprints from a piece of plexiglass that had allegedly been pushed in to allow entry into the home, the report said. The prints were later confirmed by the Bureau of Criminal Investigations to belong to Franklin and a warrant was issued for his arrest, it said.

Franklin was taken into custody by Springfield Police at about 9:40 p.m. Saturday.

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Man accused of sex assault at Clark County Humane Society sentenced

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:23 AM

A collection of crime stories from the Springfield News-Sun.

A man accused of sexual misconduct with an underage girl at the Humane Society Serving Clark County was sentenced to four years in prison.

Demetrice Green, 36, was sentenced by Clark County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard O’Neill on Feb. 12. Green entered an Alford plea to a charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. An Alford plea means he didn’t admit to the crime but accepts its punishment.

RELATED: Ex-Clark County dog shelter worker accused of sex assault pleads

Green will have to register as a tier two sex offender once he is released from prison, according to the judgment entry filed in the case.

Green was originally charged with three counts of rape, four counts of unlawful sexual conduct and one count of gross sexual imposition. The plea document says that the prosecutor’s office dismissed the remaining counts because Green pleaded.

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A Clark County Sheriff’s Office affidavit says Green, an employee at the animal shelter, and the victim carried on the relationship for about three years.

“A forensic interview of the victim was conducted at our Child Advocacy Center,” Detective Debra Strileckyj wrote. “Juvenile victim disclosed numerous sex acts had occurred with … Green at a location in Clark County where the defendant was an employee.”

The affidavit says the encounters happened between January 2013 and the summer of 2016.

Green entered his plea to the court on Oct. 4, according to court records.

MORE COVERAGE: Former humane society employee charged with teen sexual conduct

O’Neill took many factors into consideration when deciding the sentence, including oral statements, the seriousness and recidivism factors, he wrote in a judgment entry of conviction.

“The court is guided by the overriding purposes of felony sentencing, including protection of the public from future crime by the offender and punishment of the offender,” O’Neill says in the entry.

A prison sentence is justice, O’Neill said.

“The court further finds that a combination of community control sanctions would demean the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct and its impact on the victim,” the entry says.

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6-year-old boy, 3 family members shot outside Texas steakhouse

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:06 AM

A Young Boy And Family Members Shot Outside Texas Steakhouse

Police are investigating after a 6-year-old boy and three of his family members were shot Sunday evening in the parking lot of a Texas Roadhouse steakhouse in San Antonio.

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Police Chief William McManus said Sunday that the shooting, which happened as people were waiting outside the restaurant to eat, left the 6-year-old with a gunshot wound to his leg. Police said two of the boy’s three injured family members, all adults in their 20s, were hospitalized Sunday in critical but stable condition.

The shooting happened around 8:40 p.m. outside the Texas Roadhouse steakhouse on Cinema Ridge, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

“We do not believe that this shooting is random,” McManus said. “There were a number of people that were standing (outside the restaurant). All the people that were hit were from the same family.”

The gunman, who has not been identified, fired about 10 shots at the family within 15 feet of the front of Texas Roadhouse, the Express-News reported. He was masked at the time of the shooting, according to the newspaper.

Police continue to investigate the attack.

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