911 caller: Driver sought to go wrong way before I-675 double fatal

Centerville police said Melvin Bonie Jr., 69, a Beavercreek wine consultant who was a retired analyst from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was driving the wrong way on southbound Interstate 675 at about 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, when his car glanced off one vehicle before crashing head-on into a second car driven by Kalip Grimm, 18, a 2017 Miamisburg High School graduate, killing both of them. STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Centerville police said Melvin Bonie Jr., 69, a Beavercreek wine consultant who was a retired analyst from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was driving the wrong way on southbound Interstate 675 at about 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, when his car glanced off one vehicle before crashing head-on into a second car driven by Kalip Grimm, 18, a 2017 Miamisburg High School graduate, killing both of them. STAFF

One of two 911 callers reporting a vehicle going the wrong way on an exit ramp to get on I-675 before a double fatal wreck Monday night said the driver appeared to be “intentionally” taking that route.

The vehicle was stopped at a red light at the Ohio 48 interchange apparently heading toward Kettering, but turned right onto the exit ramp, barely missing Richard Newland’s automobile, the Washington Twp. resident said Wednesday.

The driver went “right past us on the side,” Newland said. “No mistaking that it was deliberate.”

RELATED: I-675 wrong-way wreck kills Beavercreek man, Miamisburg grad

Minutes later, Centerville police said, a northbound vehicle driven by 69-year-old Melvin Bonie Jr. and a car driven by 18-year-old Kalip Grimm of Miami Twp. in a southbound lane struck each other head on, killing both the retired Beavercreek defense analyst and the 2017 Miamisburg High School graduate.

On Wednesday, Newland said at the exit ramp the wrong-way vehicle “came right at me – almost hit my car.”

In the call to 911, Newland said, “he intentionally did it knowing it was the wrong direction….”

He added Wednesday, “I knew at that point it was going be a major collision.”

RELATED: Area wrong-way crashes death toll mounts

Centerville police said Bonie’s vehicle struck two other southbound automobiles before colliding with the one driven by Grimm, prompting a nearly six-hour closure of southbound lanes on I-675 between the Ohio 48 and Wilmington Pike exits.

A 16-year-old unidentified female passenger in Grimm’s car was treated and released from a local hospital, police said.

Meanwhile, an autopsy has been performed on Bonie, but no cause of death has been determined, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Wednesday. It is too early to tell if alcohol was a factor in the crash, police.

RELATED: Lengthy investigation expected into wrong-way crash that killed 5

Bonie was a New Orleans native who earned a degree there before coming to Ohio and working for decades at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, before retiring as an analyst, according to longtime friend Karen Rase.

Bonie then went to work for Tramonte & Sons Wines in Lebanon, developing a reputation in the Dayton area as a wine connoisseur.

Attempts to reach Tramonte officials this week have been unsuccessful.

DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APPS FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS

Bonie is the only Dayton area wine consultant listed as part of the sales team for Tramonte, which does business in Ohio and Kentucky, according to its website. The company deals in wines from about 10 countries on four continents, it website states.

About the Authors