Dayton man gets 6½ years in hit-and-run crash that critically injures teen last April

A Dayton man will spend 6½ years in prison for striking an 18-year-old as she was crossing the street last April on her way home from a friend’s house in Harrison Twp. and then leaving her for dead.

Joseph Robert Ferguson II, 37, was sentenced Monday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court after he pleaded guilty March 8 to two felony counts of vehicular assault and one count of failure to stop after an accident plus additional felony charges uncovered during an “extensive investigation spanning several jurisdictions,” including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, 13 counts of grand theft, five counts of receiving stolen property, eight counts of breaking and entering, one count of vandalism plus five misdemeanor charges: two counts of petty theft and three counts of criminal damaging.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

I’Sice Thomas was struck around 10:50 p.m. April 6, 2023, as she was crossing North Main Street at the Santa Clara Avenue intersection. She was in the crosswalk and had the green light and “walk” signal.

She was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries and was “on the verge of death for three days,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed on behalf of the state. She had no health insurance and her hospital and rehabilitation care exceeded $1 million.

Thomas described what happened to her as “sickening and scary. … I was in that hospital for three months, had three brain surgeries, half of my skull was taken out and put back in, I can’t have a job or anything right now because I have to deal with what that man put me through and my brain is not the way it should be anymore.”

Thomas said she still suffers headaches and pain in her legs, she cannot work and remains traumatized by the event, the document stated.

Detectives with the sheriff’s office Special Investigations Unit began investigating Ferguson on unrelated charges beginning May 16. When deputies from the Harrison Twp. substation stopped him in an older model Buick Century in connection to that investigation, the sheriff’s office reported he had a firearm and methamphetamine.

The sheriff’s office received a tip from Miami Valley Crime Stoppers that the Buick driven by Ferguson was involved in the hit-and-run crash that injured Thomas. Deputies determined the car, which had been impounded, had damage consistent with a pedestrian crash.

A $1,000 reward was offered for anyone who had information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Once paperwork is completed information will go to Crime Stoppers to pay out the reward money, the sheriff’s office said.

Additional evidence linked Ferguson to various crimes, including the hit-and-run crash, through a collaborative investigation involving Special Investigations, detectives in Harrison and Washington townships and the Traffic Services Unit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Prosecutors said Ferguson from at least May 5 through his arrest on Oct. 7 orchestrated a theft ring in Montgomery and Greene counties, stealing more than $250,000 in vehicles, motorcycles, flatbed and enclosed trailers, boat motors, golf carts, golf clubs, construction equipment, tools “and just about anything else he and his cohorts could steal.”

The stolen items often were stored at Ferguson’s mother’s home, his cousin’s home or the residence where he stayed.

“Defendant engaged in all aspects of the scheme — he visited crime scenes to assess and confirm what could be stolen, he stole items, he drove his cohorts to crime scenes to steal items, he had others post the items that he and others stole on Facebook Marketplace for sale, and he delivered stolen goods to buyers,” a court document stated.

In addition to his prison term, Ferguson’s driver’s license was suspended for five years and he was ordered to pay $4,770 in restitution to the victim, according to the prosecutor’s office.

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