I-Team: Family of newborn killed in I-675 crash questions why it took 8 months to charge suspect

GREENE COUNTY — A Dayton man was indicted in late January in connection to a fatal crash that killed a newborn and injured six others in Sugarcreek Township eight months ago. The newborn’s family is asking why it took so long to formally charge the suspect.

Samuel V. Lawson, 31, was indicted by a Greene County Grand Jury on 18 counts January 28. He’s accused of causing the three-vehicle on May 23, 2021, in an active construction zone located on northbound I-675, while under the influence. His blood-alcohol level was four-times the legal limit when he crashed his SUV into a minivan, according to Greene County Prosecutor David D. Hayes.

The collision sent the minivan into another car on the highway, according to crash report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Faye White, a 4-week-old passenger of the minivan, died from injuries sustained in the crash.

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Faye was in the minivan with her family. The I-Team spoke to her parents, Dylan and Kristen White, in November. They told us that May 23 was their wedding anniversary and they were on I-675 heading home after picking up their children from their parents’ house.

“30 seconds down the highway, I mean, our lives were completely turned upside down,” Kristen White said.

Dylan and three of the couple’s kids were transported to the hospital. Their 10-year-old daughter, Emma, suffered a list of traumatic injuries the family said she’ll never fully recover from.

When we spoke to the White family in November, they wanted to know why there weren’t any charges filed against Lawson five months after the accident. Then, after his indictment last month, the family wanted to why it took eight months for formal charges.

The I-Team’s John Bedell took their question to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol told the I-Team that fatal crash investigations are in depth processes. In a statement they said:

“Investigators spend a lot of time gathering information and preparing a complete report before it is sent to the prosecutor’s office for review. Often times in an investigation, it is determined that additional information is needed, which may require subpoenas for records and/or the preparation and execution of search warrants. Lab analysis of specimens and crash reconstruction reports also take time to be completed. Investigators go through many steps and processes to ensure an investigation is as detailed as possible and receives the attention it deserves. That holds true with this investigation which has led to an 18-count indictment of Samuel V. Lawson in the Greene County Court of Common Pleas. We understand that sometimes this process may seem lengthy; however, we owe it to all parties involved, especially those negatively impacted, to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.”

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The I-Team also asked the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office. In a statement, Greene County Prosecutor David Hayes said “The case was presented to the Greene County Grand Jury when I was satisfied that the investigation was fully completed.”

Hayes went on to say that he anticipates that the case will “involve extensive litigation and will result in a trial.”

Hayes argued in a court hearing earlier this week that Lawson should no bond. A judge has not made a decision on Lawson’s bond yet.

Lawson is currently in custody at the Greene County Jail pending a judge’s decision on his bond. His next court date has not been scheduled.

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