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Funeral arrangements set for Camden family members killed in crash 

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 3:12 PM
Updated: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 7:40 AM

34-year-olds Schon and Melissa Hudson and their three-year-old daughter, Emerie, were killed in a crash at the intersection of S.R. 725 and U.S. 127 in Camden Tuesday.

UPDATE @ 7:45 a.m. (Sept. 15):

Visitation and funeral services have been announced for the family members killed in a crash in Camden on Tuesday. 

RELATED: Semi-trailer black box technology aids in fatal Preble County crash

A visitation for Schon, Melissa, and Emerie Hudson will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eaton Church of the Brethren, at 813 Camden Road, south of Eaton. The funeral will follow at the church at 2:30 p.m. 

UPDATE @ 5:55 p.m. (Sept. 14):

Camden police hope that the “black box” technology inside the semi-trailer  of Brian Murphy will help aid in the criminal investigation.

UPDATE @ 1:23 p.m. (Sept. 14):

The mother killed in a crash that killed two others was approximately 16 weeks pregnant, according to Camden Police Chief Matt Spurlock.

Melissa Hudson’s autopsy revealed the pregnancy, Spurlock said.

RELATED: See more trending stories on

UPDATE @ 1 a.m. (Sept. 14)

A woman who identified herself as Schon Hudson’s paternal aunt said Melissa Hudson was pregnant at the time of her death.

Schon and Melissa Hudson, of Camden, along with their 3-year-old daughter Emerie, were killed Tuesday afternoon when a semi driver T-boned their Jeep Cherokee at U.S. 127 and Ohio 725.

Sandy Miller, of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, said her nephew called her three weeks ago to say he was so excited they were expecting a baby boy.

UPDATE @ 7:10 p.m. (Sept. 13)

Camden Police Chief Matt Spurlock said he has learned the trucker accused of speeding and causing Tuesday’s fatal accident was in a medically induced coma at 5:45 p.m. As of 7 p.m., the condition of trucker Brian Murphy, 61, of Centerville, Indiana, is not known.

UPDATE @ 3:20 p.m. (Sept 13)

According to the Camden Police Chief, Matt Spurlock, speed is believed to be a factor in Tuesday’s triple fatal accident. Spurlock said the speed limit through the area is 50 mph and they know the driver of the semi was traveling faster than that. 

RELATED: See more trending stories on

The truck driver was employed by Family Tradition LLC of Richmond, Indiana, and that company has hired a lawyer to represent them in all legal matters resulting from the crash. 

Spurlock also says there is footage available from gas station surveillance cameras that were located next to the wreck. Camden Police are currently reviewing the tapes and will release any additional information. 


A father, mother and small child are dead after a multiple-vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon on U.S. 127 at state Route 725 in Camden, Preble County:

  • Dead are Melissa and Schon Hudson, both 34, and Emerie, 3, all of Camden
  • Preliminary finding: Inattentive driving by big rig operator 
  • Witnesses say semitrailer ran red light on U.S. 127, T-boned car carrying the 3 victims 
  • Melissa Hudson is a substitute teacher at Preble Shawnee Local Schools

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Preble County triple fatal accident

The Victims

All three fatalities, in a Jeep Cherokee, died at the scene.

They are the driver, Melissa Hudson, 34; her husband, Schon Hudson, also 34, and their daughter, Emerie, 3, according to a statement from the Preble County Sheriff’s Office. 

All are Camden residents.

Speed determined to be a factor in Camden triple fatal crash

Melissa Hudson was a substitute teacher for Preble Shawnee Local School at West Elkton Intermediate and Camden Primary, according to school officials.

Melissa Hudson and Schon Hudson have two surviving children who are also students at the Preble Shawnee district.

911 audio: Three killed in vehicle accident

The driver of the semi, Brian Murphy, 61, of Centerville, Indiana, remains in Miami Valley Hospital suffering from serious injuries.

Murphy’s semi hit two other vehicles -- a Honda van and a Toyota -- and the drivers of those vehicles were treated at the scene. They are John Murray, 50, also of Camden, and Paul Stiver, 47, of Germantown.

The accident was reported just before 3 p.m.

U.S. 127 at state Route 725 was closed for roughly 7 ½ hours for the investigation by sheriff’s deputies and Camden police.

>> Local news from the Miami Valley

The Investigation

The semitrailer ran a red light as it headed south on U.S. 127 and T-boned the Jeep Cherokee carrying the Hudsons headed east on state Route 725, Camden Police Chief Matt Spurlock said the preliminary investigation shows.

Earlier Tuesday evening, Chief Spurlock said the preliminary investigation also pointed to inattentive driving by the big rig operator as the cause of the accident.

But, Spurlock said, “I’m not going to point fingers until we get through this.”

The investigation by the sheriff’s office, the police department and the Preble County Coroner’s Office is continuing.

>> TRENDING: 7 things to know about Kenneka Jenkins, whose body was found in hotel freezer

What Witnesses Saw and Heard

Murphy was trapped in his semitrailer for approximately two hours before rescuers were able to extricate him. 

A crowd that had gathered at the accident scene applauded as rescuers removed him and loaded him into an ambulance.

Hannah Allen, of Seven Mile, said she heard the collision involving the semi and the Jeep. She said she and her boyfriend were pulling into a BP station, off of 725, when she heard the crash.

"I've never witnessed anything like this in my life," Allen said. "Every time I close my eyes, that noise just comes back in my mind." 

>> OTHER NEWS: Body of Champaign County sailor who died in Navy crash comes home

The Aftermath

He said, “Whether we release the names yet or not, a lot of these people standing around [the crash scene], they know who our victims are. They are either family or friends and that’s what makes it more of a tragedy.”

Spurlock said some things have been done to combat such accidents at the intersection, such as the installation of sensors, since the last “vicious crash” there a few years ago. 

He said the village police department is going to “dig into this to see if we can do anything different where this doesn’t happen again.

“At this point, early in the investigation, I don’t know if there’s anything we can change here ....  If there is something that can be changed, it will be.”

Semi driver blamed in Camden triple-fatal crash

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Winter Storm Watch issued for system that could bring snow to area this weekend

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:08 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:35 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at the current track and forecast for another spring storm.

Those ready for spring weather likely won’t like this forecast.

Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Darke, Preble, Montgomery, Wayne, Randolph, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties from 2 a.m. Saturday through 2 a.m.Sunday. A Winter Storm Watch means conditions are favorable for impactful snow, sleet or ice that can make travel difficult. 

>> Winter Weather Awareness: What are the different types of Winter Weather Alerts?

>> Whio Weather App

A quick-moving low pressure system will spread moisture back into the Miami Valley Saturday and Saturday night, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A band of snow will be possible that, at times, might mix with rain. The system currently is favoring the southern and western half of the Miami Valley where the watch was issued. This means areas such as Logan, Shelby, Auglaize and Mercer counties could see a sharp cut-off from moisture and possibly very little, if any, snow. 

>> Winter Weather Awareness: What to have in your car kit

The track and intensity of this system is still in question, and fine-tuning will come together during the end of the work week. Counties under the Winter Storm Watch have the best chance to see sticking snow that will could be more than two inches. 

>> Severe Weather Alert Sign-up

A few factors that could limit impact in the Miami Valley: Warm road temperatures allowing for snow melt, snow falling during the day allowing for a mix with rain, the track shifting and pulling the accumulating snow further south.

A few factors that could increase impact in the Miami Valley: Staying colder than expected, a shift further north could spread more snow across the entire area and the intensity of the system. 

Stay with Storm Center 7 for the latest updates to this spring snow storm.

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Dayton’s Fire Blocks faces deadline, could lose $4.5M in funds

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:10 AM

            Workers replace street lights near the Elks Building near the intersection of South Jefferson and East Third Street in the Fire Blocks District in downtown Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Workers replace street lights near the Elks Building near the intersection of South Jefferson and East Third Street in the Fire Blocks District in downtown Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The state of Ohio has told the group that wants to redevelop the Fire Blocks District that it has until June 30 to prove it has financing for the project or its tax credits may be rescinded.

The Ellway Group won nearly $4.5 million in state historic preservation tax credits in June 2016 to help fund the restoration of the Elks Building and the Huffman Block building on the 100 block of East Third Street.

RELATED: Photos: A look inside downtown Dayton’s Fire Blocks District

The development group’s $23 million plan was to create new housing and first-floor retail and restaurant spaces in the mostly vacant buildings.

But this month, the Ohio Development Services Agency sent a letter to Ellway Group CEO Winfield Scott Gibson saying his project has not demonstrated “sufficient evidence of reviewable progress” because the has not closed on financing, according to a copy of the letter obtained by this newspaper through a public records request.

Tax credit recipients risk losing their awards if they fail to show after 18 months that they have secured financing for their proposed rehab projects and have not commenced construction. It’s been about 21 months since the project received its award.

RELATED: Fire Blocks plan to reshape downtown Dayton faces growing pains

Last month, Gibson sent the state a letter asking to push back the project’s end date until March 31, 2019, saying there were delays related to finding a tax credit investor and securing financing, according to records obtained by this newspaper.

Tax credit recipients must file a 12- or 18-month progress report on their projects with the state.

In the letter, Gibson said project construction financing is expected to close in June and construction should begin on May 1. The state agreed to a short time extension to allow the Ellway Group to secure financing and start construction.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Fire Blocks’ $100 million proposal

But if that does not happen by the end of June, the Ohio Development Services Agency said it may rescind the approved tax credits and give them away to other projects in upcoming funding rounds.

Gibson told this newspaper that it’s “going to be tight” but he believes his group will close on financing in time to meet the deadline. He also said he has a back-up plan if the project were to lose its state historic tax credits and had to be scrapped — but he says he really hopes it does not come to that.

“The plan is the plan and we’re moving forward,” he said.

The district covers multiple blocks but centers around the 100 block of East Third Street. Companies controlled by Gibson or the Ellway Group own about nine buildings in and around downtown Dayton.

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Clayton, three other local communities purchase new warning sirens

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 6:47 PM

            Clayton, Clay Township, Trotwood and Englewood invest about $108,000, along with about $108,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security for new sirens. STAFF PHOTOS.
Clayton, Clay Township, Trotwood and Englewood invest about $108,000, along with about $108,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security for new sirens. STAFF PHOTOS.

Nine new warning sirens are being installed in and around the Northmont community, a partnership of four local governments designed to keep residents safe in an emergency.

The new sirens will help alert more people in Clayton, Englewood, Trotwood and Clay Township, the four governments that partnered on the project.

MORE: Gun control advocates push for ‘red flag’ law in Ohio

The sirens will be placed strategically throughout the region to warn residents of severe weather conditions.

The sirens were purchased by Montgomery County and then sold to the partnering agencies. The Department of Homeland Security and the four local governments involved split the costs.

The sirens will be put in places to provide maximum coverage but so they do not overlap. The city of Clayton added three to the city.

Residents can sign up for Clayton’s notification system to receive alerts for tornadoes and emergency warnings. Residents also can use a weather radio or tune into WHIO-TV and WHIO-Radio, or download the WHIO app, for updated weather alerts.

TRENDING: Dayton officer disciplined for investigation involving child who later died

For more information on the new sirens, contact the Clayton Director of Development Jack Kuntz at (937) 836-3500.

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Two hospitalized after police pursuit ends in crash in Dayton

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:14 AM

I-75 Pursuit

UPDATE @ 2:50 a.m: Two people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after a police pursuit ended in a crash on Needmore Road early Thursday morning.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: 3 critical, 1 dead on U.S. 36 crash in Champaign County

According to officials, they attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Stanley Avenue around 1:45 a.m., the suspect did not comply and a pursuit started on northbound I-75. 

The suspect ended up crashing into another vehicle after running a red light on Needmore Road not too long after the pursuit ensued. 

The suspect and the driver of the other vehicle were the individuals transported to Grandview Medical Center.

Officials did find a loaded handgun and narcotics in the suspect vehicle. 

The individual was placed under arrest and will be taken to Montgomery County Jail after their release from the hospital. 


A pursuit on northbound I-75 ended as a crash on the Needmore Road exit ramp early Thursday morning.

According to officials, the pursuit started around 1:45 a.m. at the 55 milemarker.

The Ohio Highway State Patrol are handling with assistance from Dayton police.

We will continue to update this story with more details. 

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