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Middletown police: Man killed in wrong-way crash was not being chased

Published: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 4:24 PM
By: Rick McCrabb - Staff Writer

A Middletown man killed Monday evening in a wrong-way crash was not being chased by officers at the time of the crash as some had speculated, according to police.

Alex Johnson, 30, was driving a Pontiac G6 east — the wrong way — on Verity Parkway at 5:30 p.m. Monday when he apparently lost control of his car and hit a Dodge Avenger near Eldora Drive.

FIRST REPORT: Wrong-way driver killed in Middletown

The driver of the other car, Michael Lidstone, 45, of Franklin, was transported to Miami Valley Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Johnson was pronounced died at the scene by the Butler County Coroner’s Office, according to the patrol. He was speeding in the 35 mph zone, but his speed hasn’t been determined, the post said.

Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said the investigation is being handled by the state patrol, but said that Middletown police officers were not chasing Johnson.

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The incident began after a Middletown police officer noticed Johnson’s window tint was non-transparent and the officer couldn’t see inside the vehicle, according to the police report.

Johnson allegedly was driving erratically on Verity Parkway, nearly striking other vehicles, the report said. Johnson lost control of his car and it stopped near the Parkway Inn, police said.

The officer walked toward the car and drew his weapon and yelled for Johnson to show his hands, the report said. Johnson then drove his car to the Shell gas station at the corner of Verity Parkway and Germantown Road, the report said.

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Johnson started to drive again, weaving between parked cars in the gas station, police said. That’s when the officer deactivated his emergency lights and stopped following Johnson, the report said.

Another police officer said he observed the crash, then activated his lights.

The officer and witnesses removed Lidstone from his vehicle and laid him on the grassy median. Johnson had an warrant for felony domestic violence and was on parole, police said.

The road was closed during the investigation and a “one way” sign was partially torn down Tuesday in the median that separates the east- and west-bound lanes of Verity Parkway.