Police had arrested, released man before horrific I-675 crash

BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek police released 19-year-old Brennan Eden of Mason from custody roughly 20 minutes before he sped down Interstate 675 on Monday morning, hit a culvert, and launched his Pontiac Firebird into the Wagner Road overpass.

The force of the crash broke the car apart and ejected Eden onto the highway during the morning rush hour. He remains at Miami Valley Hospital after suffering serious injuries. The crash closed the southbound lanes of I-675 for five hours on Monday, Aug. 23.

A police cruiser camera caught the crash, and the video has been played on newscasts and websites around the country.

Crash investigators with the Xenia Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol have not determined the specific cause of the accident or if alcohol or drugs played a role.

Cruiser cam catches I-675 crash

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Beavercreek police said Tuesday that they had arrested Eden at 6:13 a.m. Monday on charges including possession of alcohol, drug paraphernalia and drug abuse after he was found with a 15-year-old Beavercreek girl in the parking lot near the corner of Beaver Vu Drive and North Fairfield Road.

The officer approached the vehicle because it was in the parking lot of a closed business at such an early hour. The officer found an unopened can of alcohol, a trace of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the car.

The girl was cited and released to her father. Eden was given a court summons and released.

“It’s police procedure not to incarcerate people on a prohibition (charge),” Beavercreek Sgt. Jim Wuebben said. “There was no reason to believe that Mr. Eden was a flight risk or that he would not appear in court.”

“Eden was cooperative throughout, and there were no indications of Eden to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of his arrest. He was released prior to 6:54 a.m.” Monday, Wuebben said.

The contact between the officer, Eden and the teen girl was not recorded on cruiser camera because it was not considered a traffic stop.

“None of this was captured on cruiser camera ... because this was not a traffic stop. In a traffic stop scenario the (cruiser’s) overhead lights are automatically operated,” Wuebben said.

Police do not anticipate making any changes in procedures or policies as a result of Monday’s incident. Wuebben said his department believes there was no connection between their interaction with Eden and his crash on I-675.

In November 2009, Eden was cited by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for driving 90 mph in an 65 mph zone, according to records filed in the Fairborn Municipal Court.

A message left on a relative’s answering service asked callers to continue to prayer for Eden, a 2009 Mason High School graduate.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Brennan, who is a valued member of the Mason Schools community,” said Mindy McCarty-Stewart, principal of Mason High School. “We continue to hope that he will make a full recovery. Brennan’s a great kid with a lot of artistic ability who was very well-liked by his teachers.”

Officer surprised

The Sugarcreek Twp. police officer whose cruiser captured Eden’s crash on tape was surprised by the event. It’s a rare occasion for an officer to witness a crash, said Sugarcreek Twp. Sgt. J.R. Williams.

The police officer was southbound on I-675, responding to a call about debris on the road when Eden’s 1985 Pontiac Firebird rushed by on the left side.

The officer flicked on his lights as the crash occurred. That allowed his Watch Guard Digital In Car Video to start recording.

The cruiser camera records in a constant loop, meaning it’s continually overwritten. “When the officer activates his overhead lights, (the camera) starts recording to a disk two minutes prior to that,” Williams said. “Once the officer shuts its lights off or stops the recording, it goes back to recording on the loop until the next time the officer activates (the) lights.”

Staff Writer Mark Gokavi contributed to this report.

Contact Kelli Wynn at (937) 225-2414 or kwynn@daytondailynews.com.

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