Dayton man guilty in New Year’s crash that kills Trotwood father, 2 of his children



A jury convicted a Dayton man for driving drunk during a New Year’s Day crash last year that killed a Trotwood father and two of his children in Jefferson Twp.

Carl Lamont Smith was found guilty this week in Montgomery County Common Plea Court of three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of aggravated vehicular assault and three counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence, all felony charges. His blood-alcohol level was .238 or higher, which is nearly three times Ohio’s 0.08 legal driving limit, according to his indictment.

The three people killed in the head-on crash around 7 p.m. Jan. 1, 2023, in the 5900 block of Germantown Pike (state Route 4) were identified as 49-year-old Ta’Wayne Palmer and his sons 13-year-old Ta’Wayne Palmer Jr. and 9-year-old Octavius Palmer.

Six others were taken to local hospitals after the crash, including a 9-year-old Dayton boy who was seriously injured, according to the indictment and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office crash report.

Smith was the driver of a 2014 Chevrolet Traverse headed south on state Route 4 when he crossed the double yellow line and collided with a 2000 Chevy Suburban in the opposite direction with one adult and seven children between ages 7 and 14 inside, Maj. Jeremy Roy said previously.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Ta’Wayne Palmer and one of the boys were pronounced dead at the scene and another boy died at the hospital. All eight in the Suburban were either immediate or extended family members, Roy said.

Smith, the only occupant in the Traverse, also was injured in the crash.

He is held in the Montgomery County Jail and is scheduled to be sentenced June 27.

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