Former Clayton officer charged in fatal crash

Former Clayton police officer Mark Gau has been charged in connection to a fatal crash he was involved in while on patrol last year.

Gau is charged with vehicular manslaughter, a misdemeanor, and has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which stems from the crash on June 13 when he was accused of pulling out in front of a motorcyclist on Ohio 49 near Hoke Road, according to court records.

Gau was driving his Clayton police cruiser when he pulled out from a Shell gas station into the path of a motorcycle driven by Jimmy Payne, 51, of Dayton, according to investigators.

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Payne died from his injuries on June 30.

Gau resigned from his position with the Clayton Police Department in the wake of the Ohio Highway Patrol's investigation into the crash.

The July 1 internal affairs report that Clayton Police released to this news outlet said Gau was checking the lot while on a phone call with a sergeant. Sgt. Dan Hamlin wrote in the report that “(Gau) advised that the phone call was of a personal nature and that immediately following the call, he shared a post on Facebook. He stated that this took place approximately 5 minutes before the crash.”

In a letter dated July 16, Gau told Clayton City Manager Richard Rose that his resignation was “due to the fact I am suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and can no longer function in this capacity.”