UPDATE @ 6:14 p.m. (June 24): Several witnesses reported seeing a car being driven erratically and possibly speeding just before it crashed into a tree on East Stroop Road in Kettering this weekend, police Lt. Lee Sanders said Monday.
Police, in their work to determine why 50-year-old Rebecca Gustin of Centerville crashed Sunday afternoon, are continuing to check the possibility she sideswiped or brushed other vehicles between the time she sped away from a parking lot on East Dorothy Lane and smashed into the tree on East Stroop, the lieutenant told News Center 7’s Mike Campbell.
Earlier Monday, Sgt. Larry Warren said Gustin’s car appeared to have been in an another crash in that parking lot on East Dorothy Lane prior to the crash on East Stroop Road.
Because of the many lingering questions about the crash, Lt. Sanders said police will be investigating the incident much like a homicide -- chasing down every lead thoroughly.
He said investigators will be checking for anything that may have affected Gustin’s ability to drive -- either a medical problem or possible impairment. The autopsy will be key to shedding light on potential drugged or dangerous driving.
They will also check the woman’s vehicle for possible mechanical problems.
According to the preliminary investigation, witnesses ripped open a door and pulled the woman from the car just before it burst into flames, Kettering police said.
Police said when they arrived on scene, Gustin was out of the vehicle and on the ground. She died at a hospital or on the way to the hospital.
She apparently lost control of the car, which jumped the curb, ran over a traffic sign and hit the tree. It then bounced backward before it caught fire.
INITIAL REPORT (June 23)
A 50-year-old Centerville woman was identified as the person who died in a crash in Kettering Sunday afternoon, according to Montgomery County Coroner Kent E. Harshbarger.
Rebecca A. Gustin died after her vehicle struck a tree and caught fire on East Stroop Road, according to Sergeant Larry Warren with the Kettering Police Department.
Gustin’s car appeared to have also been in an another crash in a parking lot on East Dorothy Lane prior to the crash on East Stroop Road, Warren said.
She was taken to a local hospital from the second crash scene where she succumbed to her injuries, Warren said.
We’re working to learn more details on both reported crashes and will continue to update this story.