Car crashes off U.S. 35 in Beavercreek after wrong-way pursuit

GREENE COUNTY — A police pursuit involving a stolen car that went the wrong-way on U.S. 35 ended in a crash in Beavercreek.

Video from the Ohio Department of Transportation captured the final moments of the pursuit where the vehicle traveled west in the eastbound lanes on U.S. 35 near Interstate 675.

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The pursuit ended when the car went off the highway and down an embankment. The car ended on Grange Hall Road right at the U.S. 35 overpass.

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Dayton police Lt. Mark Ponichtera said the two suspects in the car, who suffered serious injuries, will be charged with failure to comply with a police officer’s signal and receiving stolen property.

Ponichtera said it appears the suspect entered U.S. 35 going the wrong way from North Fairfield Road or possibly the area of Research Boulevard.

The suspect's vehicle sustained a flat tire at some point during the pursuit. Ponichtera said he's not aware of any Dayton officers deploying tire-deflation devices during the pursuit and it's not clear how the flat tire occurred.

"We were trying to get in a position to execute a pit maneuver, but before that happened, he went ahead and crashed," he said.

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Speeds reached an estimated 80 to 100 mph on U.S. 35 before the vehicle went down an embankment while traveling west in the eastbound lanes of U.S. 35, landing on Grange Hall Road.

Ponichtera said the suspects, who have not been identified by authorities, appear to have a violent history of crime and that's partly why officers decided to pursue the vehicle.

"These things are very dangerous. It's a constant evaluation situation. We have to evaluate circumstances, our role in it, the suspect's speed, the time of day — All those things are factors in our decision to continue to pursue the car," he said.

Ponichtera said it's not certain whether the suspect intentionally entered U.S. 35 going the wrong way, but "probably so."

"He was fleeing at high speed in the middle of the day. I believe his intent was to flee from police," he said.

Ponichtera said in hindsight they might have "enacted other factors" and pulled officers from the pursuit when it proceeded in the wrong direction.

"It's a hard decision to make," he said.

"The driver is severely injured. He was conscious but the passenger ... needed more timely medical treatment," he said.

A man driving down Grange Hall Road witnessed the crash, calling it “crazy.”

According to initial reports, the pursuit began in the area of Linden Avenue and Smithville Road before 11 a.m. The pursuit continued into parts of Dayton, Riverside, and Beavercreek before it ended.

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