Accused in fatal Darke crash is free on bond

Deputies identify crash victims

UPDATE @ 7 p.m. (June 8): Chad Bradburn, the Union City, Ind., resident who was driving the Jeep that killed a man trapped in the wreckage of an accident and the woman who was trying to help him, remains free on a recognizance bond after his arraignment in court this morning.

Our news partner Earlybirdpaper.com reports that Bradburn was indicted in May on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of driving while under the influence, a single count of tampering with evidence and misdemeanor excessive speed.

If convicted as charged, Bradburn could be sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is to be in court again July 27, according to online court records.

EARLIER REPORT (Feb. 9)

A man trapped in his car after a crash and a woman who was trying to help him were killed in Darke County Sunday night.

A male driver of a Kia, identified as Richard L. Stephenson, 49 of Union City, Ohio, was traveling westbound on Ohio 571, lost control and rolled over after going off the right side of the road, according to Sgt. Shawn Trissel of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.

Stephenson was trapped inside the crashed vehicle, but was alive, and multiple bystanders began working to try to get him out before emergency crews arrived on scene, Trissel said.

Deputies say while bystanders were still helping Stephenson, a second crash occurred when a Jeep driven by Chad Bradburn, 50, of Union City, Ind., also traveling west on Ohio 571, hit a female bystander and the car involved in the first crash.

Both the female bystander, Linda Shafer, 47 of Greenville, and Stephenson were killed in that second crash, and were pronounced dead at the scene.

It happened after a second vehicle plowed into them on Ohio 571 near Kniseley Road.

Police and medics were dispatched around 9:30 p.m. Sunday on a reported single-vehicle rollover crash on Ohio 571 near Kniseley Road.

“Several motorists had stopped to provide assistance to the driver of the vehicle, and assisted him in trying to get out of the vehicle,” Trissel said.

Deputies are still investigating the cause of the second crash and say alcohol, fog, and location of the first crash all remain possible factors. Bradburn was not injured in the second crash, but was transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital for a blood alcohol sample.

“The location [of the first accident] was on a curve, and made it a bad area for everybody to be there trying to help,” Trissel said.

According to deputies, witnesses said most of the fog had cleared from the area at the time of the accident.

No other injuries were reported in either crash and the roadway reopened around 3:30 a.m. Charges are pending upon the completion of the investigation according to a release.