Suspect in deadly I-75 hit-and-run crash in Moraine faces charges

A Huber Heights man was indicted Tuesday in connection to a hit-and-run crash last month on Interstate 75 that killed a 20-year-old pedestrian from Franklin.

Nicholas Frederick DeBello, 37, is scheduled to appear Thursday for his arraignment in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court for failure to stop after an accident and tampering with evidence.

Debello is the suspected driver of a white 2021 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck that struck Emily Ryan around 12:15 a.m. April 21 on I-75 South near the Dryden Road exit in a construction zone, Moraine police Sgt. Andrew Parish said previously.

The Ram 2500 struck the 2011 Kia Rio that Ryan had been driving and then also hit Ryan, according to a crash report filed by the Moraine Police Division.

Where the car broke down there was not a shoulder or safety zone to get it off the highway, Parish has said.

Security camera footage from Dryden Road businesses showed the pickup truck went to a trailer in the 100 block of Aloha Drive in the Aloha Trailer Park right after the crash and that it stayed there until about 3:15 a.m.

Moraine detectives determined the residence was the home of DeBello’s father and confirmed that DeBello had a son with a white 2021 Dodge Ram 2500 registered to him, according to an affidavit filed in Kettering Municipal Court.

DeBello’s father told police that his son arrived at his trailer immediately after the accident and told him that he struck a car on the highway and fled, the document stated.

Police used GPS data to track DeBello’s cellphone to a campground in Oldham County, Kentucky. Florence police arrested him April 25 on a warrant out of Montgomery County for a probation violation. DeBello’s truck was seized and he also was charged in Kentucky through Boone County Circuit Court with operating a motor vehicle under influence, operating on suspended or revoked license and possession of open alcohol beverage container in motor vehicle, records show.

DeBello’s truck “was found to have damage corresponding with the fatal accident and appeared to be cleaned and tampered with, as off-white paint was placed overtop of the damage on the passenger side front bumper and tool markings were observed on the fender mounting brackets inside the headlight compartment,” the affidavit stated.

The warrant for his arrest was issued July 28, 2022, by Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Kimberly Melnick.

She granted DeBello treatment in lieu of conviction just 10 days before the warrant was issued in a felony drug possession case after his probation officer notified the court that his whereabouts had been unknown since his July 18 hearing, court records show.

Probation officer Lawrance Dudgeon notified Melnick of the DeBello’s April 25 arrest in Kentucky and that he was facing charges there, in addition to his possible involvement in the crash that killed Ryan.

“The Moraine Police Department is currently investigating a deadly hit and run accident that occurred on April 21, 2023, and have named Mr. DeBello as the suspect. Based on the information above, it is respectfully recommended that he remain in custody,” Dudgeon wrote.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

About the Author