A Dayton man indicted Monday on his 25th charge is accused of driving impaired and then crashing into three vehicles in January before the stolen BMW he was driving burst into flames in Huber Heights, leading one driver to suffer fatal injuries.
It is the third time 27-year-old Cory Allen Harbarger has been indicted in connection to the Jan. 24 crash in the 6600 block of Brandt Pike near Chambersburg Road.
A pickup truck driver — 68-year-old Steven Jay Carlson of Tipp City — later died at Miami Valley Hospital after suffering third-degree burns to most of his body.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on the latest charge of felony possession of drugs for allegedly having buprenophrine at the time of the crash, the indictment stated. The opioid drug is a controlled substance that has a high risk for addiction and is used to treat acute or chronic pain but also is a medication for opioid use disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health.
A Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy spotted a white BMW reported stolen out of Clark County in the AutoZone parking lot on North Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp. Deputies attempted to stop the car, but it eluded them. As he fled, Harbarger struck another vehicle before driving onto northbound Interstate 75 then east on Interstate 70 toward Huber Heights, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Huber Heights officers later saw the BMW crash on Brandt Pike near Chambersburg Road, according to an affidavit filed in Montgomery County Municipal Court Eastern Division in Huber Heights.
Harbarger “continued driving erratically at which time he went left of center and struck a Jeep Cherokee, continuing southbound, striking a (Ford) F-150, which then struck a Honda Civic,” the affidavit stated.
Harbarger immediately got out of the car and ran away, but several officers found him hiding in the parking lot of a nearby business. Body-worn camera video released by Huber Heights police showed officers handcuff Harbarger in a U-Haul lot and escort him to a cruiser.
“As all of the occupants from the involved vehicles were attempting to exit their crashed vehicles, the suspect vehicle burst into flames,” Huber Heights police Sgt. Josh Fosnight said previously.
Passersby helped multiple occupants escape, he said.
Another driver and Harbarger’s passenger also suffered burns in the crash and were taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where they were treated and released. Harbarger also went to that hospital for minor injuries, and the driver of a vehicle that did not catch fire was taken to Kettering Health Huber - Emergency Center, along with a child passenger, for treatment of minor injuries, police said.
Credit: Montgomery County Jail
Credit: Montgomery County Jail
Harbarger reportedly admitted to using heroin and showed signs of impairment following the crash, according to the affidavit.
He also is facing two-dozen other charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, vehicular assault, failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, receiving stolen property, tampering with evidence and misdemeanor OVI.
Harbarger is held on $1 million bail in the Montgomery County Jail. It is not clear whether the new charge will delay his trial scheduled to start June 26.
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