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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Man upset over 97-cent coffee throws it at McDonald’s manager, police say

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 4:18 AM

WATCH: Man Upset Over Coffee Throws it at McDonald’s Manager

Police in Lacey, Washington, are asking the public to help identify a man who they say threw hot coffee at a McDonald’s manager Friday morning. 

Investigators with the Lacey Police Department said a man walked into the restaurant and ordered a cup of coffee, but was upset over the 97-cent price.

>> Read more trending news 

After he received his coffee, the man poured it into his to-go mug and then demanded a refill from the manager. 

Investigators said the manager asked the man to leave after he got verbally abusive about the price of the coffee.

The man then got upset and threw the cup of hot coffee into the manager’s face and fled. 

Police said the manager had burns on her neck. KIRO reported that the manager was being treated for third-degree burns.

The man is being sought for simple assault, according to Lacey Police.

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Endangered Missing Adult Alert for Columbus man, 79, is canceled

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 7:53 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:51 PM

Stanley Lapczynski
Stanley Lapczynski

UPDATE @ 11:50 p.m.: The alert for the 79-year-old Columbus man has been canceled.

INITIAL REPORT

An Endangered Missing Adult Alert has been issued for a Columbus man. 

Stanley Lapcynski, 79, suffers from dementia and was last seen around noon Friday when he left his residence but did not return.

He stands 5 feet 6 inches and weighs 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a Home Depot shirt and blue jeans.

He is believed to be driving a dark green 2001 Chevrolet Aveo with Ohio plate FFW4599.

Anyone with information is urged to call police or the Ohio Attorney General Missing Persons Unit at 866-693-9171.

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Judge changes his mind: Woman who started fire in jail cell will stay locked up

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 4:27 PM


            Georgia Osborne, 35, of Middletown, pleaded no contest to first-degree misdemeanor arson Friday afternoon in Middletown Municipal Court. She was originally charged with arson, a fourth-degree felony, after she started a fire in her jail cell around 7 a.m. May 17.
Georgia Osborne, 35, of Middletown, pleaded no contest to first-degree misdemeanor arson Friday afternoon in Middletown Municipal Court. She was originally charged with arson, a fourth-degree felony, after she started a fire in her jail cell around 7 a.m. May 17.

A Middletown woman pleaded no contest to a lesser degree arson charge Friday afternoon in Middletown Municipal Court.

Last week, Georgia Osborne, 35, was charged with arson, a fourth-degree felony, after she started a fire in her jail cell around 7 a.m. May 17. She used a lighter to catch a blanket on fire while she sat on the concrete floor, according to the police report. She sneaked the lighter into the jail, the report said.

FIRST REPORT: Woman started fire in jail cell when wait for hygiene products took too long

Osborne, represented by attorney James Calhoun, pleaded no contest to arson and criminal trespass and was sentenced to 180 days in jail with credit for eight days served.

Middletown Municipal Court Judge James Sherron initially said he would release Osborne on probation if she met with representatives from Access Counseling, provide a negative drug screen when she returns to court in two weeks, and not be charged with additional crimes.

But after meeting with Calhoun, the city prosecutor and a representative from Access Counseling, Sherron changed his mind. The judge revoked Osborne’s probation and sent her back to jail.

MORE: Middletown police are looking for dozens of people connected to recent drug investigations

After reviewing Osborne’s criminal history on his computer, Sherron noted that in 17 years, she had 53 cases in Middletown court.

“Is that something to be proud of?” Sherron asked her.

“It’s embarrassing,” Osborne said, burying her face in her right hand.

Osborne said she has a 4-month-old son and she had hoped to live with her mother, who was at the court hearing.

Outside the courtroom, Osborne’s mother said she was “pleased” Sherron decided to keep her daughter in jail.

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Oakwood investigating threat to high school

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:56 PM


            Oakwood police say no gun was used in a social media threat made today towards Oakwood High School.
Oakwood police say no gun was used in a social media threat made today towards Oakwood High School.

Oakwood school officials released details of its investigation into a threat made on social media to the school.

A concerned parent said a one-call alert was made from Principal Paul Waller, who said an Oakwood student posted a threat on social media but had removed the threat. Details of the threat were not made available.

MORE: Centerville mom claims autistic son punished, held in room

The school district issued the following statement regarding the incident.

“On Friday, May 25, Oakwood High School administrators were made aware of a possible threat of violence at the school that had been sent via Snapchat by an OHS student. Upon learning of the threat, administrators immediately reported this communication to the Oakwood Safety Department, and officers were sent to the school.

“Police investigated and determined it was not a credible threat. No weapons were found. The student who sent the message was taken into custody by OSD. The case will be referred to the Montgomery County Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office for potential charges.”

As part of the schools’ safety plan, students are taught if they see or hear something to say something, officials said. “Students followed that example today and reported the message to administrators,” the statement said, allowing the district and police to intervene.

“We understand situations such as this are concerning to parents, students and the Oakwood community. Oakwood Schools safety procedures, which have been put in place in the best interest of our students and staff, were followed. All are safe and classes have continued in session as normal.”

Oakwood police confirmed to this news organization that no gun was involved in the threat.

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