Pursuit, crash on US 35 leads to ‘tragic and senseless loss of life,’ sheriff says

A woman fled from law enforcement, leading to a pursuit and crash Monday evening on U.S. 35 that killed a man in what Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck called a “tragic and senseless loss of life.”

The crash victim was identified Tuesday as 35-year-old Colby A. Ross of Dayton by Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger.

A Butler Twp. police officer broadcast around 4:40 p.m. Monday that a white SUV was wanted for felony failure to comply charges. The SUV’s driver fled from police during rush hour on Interstate 75 in a construction zone, Streck said during a Tuesday media briefing.

The driver, a 50-year-old Trotwood woman, is not being named by the Dayton Daily News because she is not formally charged.

“Approximately three hours later a plainclothes sheriff’s detective in an unmarked vehicle observed the white SUV on Free Pike Avenue,” he said.

The detective was part of Project Safe Neighborhood Targeted Enforcement that works to reduce violent crime and gun violence and which included aerial support from a law enforcement partner, the sheriff said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

“As the wanted vehicle was stopped at the intersection on Free Pike near state Route 49, the detective was able to deploy a tire deflation device on the vehicle successfully,” Streck said. “The vehicle then drove off and failed to yield for deputies, fleeing southbound on state Route 49. A deputy in a marked patrol car initiated a pursuit while waiting on the confirmation that the helicopter was overhead and locking onto the suspect vehicle.

Streck said that sheriff’s office policy allows pursuits in conjunction with air support because of the success in catching fleeing suspects who believe the pursuit is over and slow or abandon the car and run on foot.

“That was the plan for this incident,” Streck said.

Dash camera video from the deputy in pursuit released Tuesday shows the woman start to pull over a few times, but then take off. It also shows the white SUV lose its right rear tire and spin out on state Route 49, either crashing or almost crashing into another car before continuing its flight south on state Route 49.

“The driver accelerated, running the red light at West Third Street and narrowly missing several stopped vehicles. The vehicle struck a BMV convertible that was headed eastbound on U.S. 35. The BMW was forced into the westbound lane, where it struck a black pickup truck. The driver of the BMW was ejected from the vehicle. Although deputies immediately provided aid and requested fire and medics who were stationed nearby, the driver and sole occupant of the BMW was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” Streck said.

The sheriff said the woman does not have a license and did not own the SUV she was driving. She also has been charged many times before for driving without a valid license.

The most recent charge was for a hit-and-run crash on June 10, 2023, in Trotwood, during which she did not have a valid license, Montgomery County Municipal Court records show.

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