UPDATE @5:51 p.m.
Dayton police are asking for help in reconstructing the events that led to a series of car crashes that claimed the life of a 22-year-old woman and injured her infant son last weekend on Monument Avenue.
Kirstin Burton of Medway died Aug. 22 when a pickup slammed into her vehicle after hitting at least one other car. Her 14-month-old son is in fair condition in intensive care at Dayton Children’s Hospital, the child’s grandfather said Friday.
“There’s a lot of interviews that need to be conducted,” said Dayton police Maj. David Wolford. “If anybody has information on this, they need to get a hold of the crash reconstruction unit.
“They can call (937) 333-1359 or (937) 333-1104 and get a hold of detectives. There’s a lot of unanswered questions right now that they’re trying to work on.”
Burton’s father, Daniel Shragar, said his daughter was a strong-willed, compassionate, loving, selfless woman who was living her dream of being a stay-at-home mom.
“I know Orion is missing her. I know he’s looking around wondering where she’s at,” said Shragar, a 25-year police veteran. “I also know that he doesn’t comprehend what has happened. … I’m just glad we still have Orion so I can hold onto a piece of my daughter.”
Traffic reports indicate that Walter Bradley, 32, was driving the pickup. Bradley’s girlfriend, Jerrie McWilliams, has told this newspaper that a group of people were chasing her boyfriend and that caused the accident. Police are awaiting toxicology results.
“(Bradley) did try to flee and he was held at the scene by some citizens,” Wolford said. “Again, information about whether he was chased or not — that’s information that’s out there and that’s why we need witnesses to come forward to collaborate that right now, because it’s just speculation right now.”
The pickup struck a taxicab at First and Keowee streets, according to police. While traveling north on Taylor Street, the truck crashed into a vehicle driven by Burton, according to a traffic report. Burton’s vehicle spun out of control, went over the curb on Taylor Street, and crashed into a tree, the report said.
“They’ve conducted search warrants on the vehicles … to download information from the computers — basically the “black boxes” of the cars,” Wolford said of the crash reconstruction team. “These fatality accidents are just like homicides. So, a lot of that physical evidence needs to be submitted to the Miami Valley Crime Lab.”
Including another death Thursday night and Burton, Wolford said Dayton has had 20 traffic fatalities in 2015 — four more than the 16 in all of 2014. “We’re hoping people are paying attention,” Wolford said. “Start driving normal speeds, not drinking and driving.”
UPDATE @1 p.m. (Aug. 28):
Dayton police are asking witnesses for help in reconstructing a series of car crashes that claimed the life of a 22-year-old woman and serverely injured her infant son last weekend on Monument Avenue.
Including a death Thursday night and the Aug. 22 death of Kirstin Burton on Monument Avenue, there have been 20 traffic fatalities in Dayton in 2015 - four more than the 16 in all of 2014.
Dayton police have conducted search warrants on the vehicles involved in last Saturday’s incident and sent physical evidence to the Miami Valley Crime Lab.
Dayton police Maj. David Wolford said anyone with information about the crashes can call (937) 333-1359 or (937) 333-1104.
UPDATE @6:24 p.m. (Aug. 27): Services for Kirstin Burton, the young mother killed in a downtown Dayton automobile accident last weekend, will be held Sunday and Monday in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Burton, 22, of Medway, died in a Monument Avenue crash that also injured her 14-month-old son, Orion, who is listed in fair condition at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Police didn’t comment Thursday on the ongoing investigation that involved a pickup hitting more than one vehicle. Jerrie McWilliams, owner of the pickup, said a group of people were chasing her boyfriend, who is listed as the driver on a traffic crash report.
A gofundme.com page by late Thursday afternoon had raised nearly $13,000 for Burton’s burial and her son’s expected medical and educational costs. The page said Orion suffered a cracked skull and a broken arm, and was rushed into surgery. Burton’s sister-in-law said Thursday that Orion’s father was in a separate vehicle after they had left a restaurant just before the 9:06 p.m. Saturday crash.
The web page set up by Burton’s sister-in-law said that visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Covington Knolls Funeral Home at 8325 Covington Road in Fort Wayne, Ind. Burton’s funeral is 10 a.m. Monday.
“Join us in celebrating the beautiful life of Kirstin Burton,” the woman’s mother wrote in a social media post. “Come as you are … casual dress. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving a donation to go towards Orion’s medical expenses and future education!”
McWilliams said the fatal accident was caused by a group of people chasing Walter Bradley, 32. “Four or five carloads appeared threatening my boyfriend,” she said. She said the people began following Bradley when he crashed into one of their cars.
A member of a car club, where the first crash happened, said they began following the pickup truck driver because he was fleeing the scene of a crash and they wanted him held accountable.
After the first hit-and-run, the pickup struck a taxicab at First and Keowee streets and kept going, according to police. While traveling north on Taylor Street, the pickup crashed into a vehicle driven by Burton, according to a traffic report. Burton’s vehicle spun out of control, went over the curb on Taylor Street, and crashed into a tree, the report said.
UPDATE @7:25 a.m. (Aug. 26)
The owner of a pickup truck involved in a fatal crash that killed a 22-year-old mother and seriously injured her infant child Saturday said Tuesday that the accident was caused by a group of people who were chasing her boyfriend.
Dayton police are still investigating and have declined to comment on the case this week. No charges have been filed.
Walter Bradley, 32, was driving a truck owned by his girlfriend, Jerrie McWilliams, at the time of the crash, according to a preliminary traffic report. McWilliams said a group of people — with whom Bradley has had ongoing issues — showed up at her house looking to harm him earlier that day.
“Four or five carloads appeared threatening my boyfriend,” she said.
Bradley was not home when the people came to her house, said McWilliams, but he saw them later in downtown Dayton. McWilliams said the people began chasing him when he crashed into one of their cars.
The truck struck a taxicab at First and Keowee streets, according to police. While traveling north on Taylor Street, the truck crashed into a vehicle driven by Kristin Burton near the 700 block of East Monument Avenue, according to a traffic report. Burton’s vehicle spun out of control, went over the curb on Taylor Street, and crashed into a tree, according to the traffic report.
Burton of Medway was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 14-month-old baby was transported to Dayton Children’s Hospital. The hospital declined to release a condition Tuesday but family members said the child is recovering.
“I feel horrible for the mother who was killed in the crash, and the baby that was injured,” said McWilliams. “But I feel like this wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t chasing my truck.”
UPDATE @ 5:52 p.m. (Aug. 24)
The 14-month-old baby injured in a crash in which a 22-year-old mother from Medway was killed Saturday is expected to recover, according to the family.
The baby was critically injured in a Saturday night crash in Dayton in which the at-fault driver ran away. Kirstin Burton was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened in the 700 block of East Monument Avenue.
Burton’s 14-month-old baby had been listed in critical condition Sunday at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Four other adults were taken to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment of injuries and their conditions are unknown.
UPDATE @ 11:24 a.m.
The woman who died has been identified as 22-year-old Kirstin Burton, of Medway, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
Her 14-month-old child remained in critical condition today at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
A driver of a pickup truck has been taken into custody, but the driver’s name has not yet been released and the Montgomery County Jail doesn’t have any booking information stemming from the incident.
UPDATE @ 12:30 a.m. (Aug. 23)
A series of crashes involving one pickup truck driver Saturday night ends with one person dead and a baby fighting to stay alive.
Dayton police say they suspect drunk driving, but are still gathering evidence.
The first crash happened during a fundraiser car cruise through Dayton. Members of the car club started following the pickup driver when he took off, and then they saw the driver hit a red light and strike a taxicab at First and North Keowee streets.
The third crash happened within minutes of the second, at 9:06 p.m. in the 700 block of East Monument Avenue in the Tech Town area. Four adults were taken to Miami Valley Hospital; a 14-month-old child was taken in critical condition to Dayton Children’s Hospital, and a sixth crash victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
A witness said he saw a man inside the vehicle get out after the fatal crash.
“I jump out the car and the first thing I did was run and grab him because he’s jumping out the truck of the passenger side trying to run, and his pants were down to his ankles and I tackled him to the ground and then that’s when a couple of our car club members showed up and just started getting on the phone, calling cause they knew something was bad with her,” said a car club member who didn’t want to be identified.
Police did not release the gender or identity of the person killed, but said the baby was riding in the same car.
The four other people were injured in the three crashes, which also included a hit-skip crash at East Third and South Jefferson streets.
UPDATE @ 10:10 p.m.
A baby was critically injured tonight in a crash that killed one person and sent four other adults to a local hospital.
The two-vehicle crash “appears to be part of a series of automobile accidents,” said East District Chief Vincent Wiley of the Dayton Fire Department. “We removed one minor child, 14 months old to (Dayton) Children’s. We removed four adults to Miami Valley Hospital and we have one deceased at the scene.”
Wiley said there are at least three crash scenes involving a pickup, but the scene in the 700 block of East Monument Avenue had the most serious injuries, including a fatality.
“The gravity of the situation is obvious: a seriously injured child and a deceased person here on the scene,” he said.
Wiley would not say whether the person killed was a man or woman, but the baby was riding in that vehicle, he said.
UPDATE @ 9:45 p.m.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office was called to a crash involving at least one fatality and several other people injured.
At least one of the crash victims was a small child.
A large crowd of people who may have witnessed the crash is gathered in the area of the 700 block of East Monument Avenue.
FIRST REPORT (Aug. 22)
Multiple people are injured in a crash tonight on Monument Avenue.
A fourth medic was called for patients injured in the crash reported around 9:12 p.m. in the 700 block of East Monument Avenue.
Witnesses said a driver involved in the crash may have caused other traffic accidents in the city.