Caption

Driver in deadly police chase says she stole Jeep to avoid rape

A Dayton woman accused of stealing a Jeep — touching off a deadly police chase — said she stole the vehicle to flee a rape, police records show.

The Sept. 11 Moraine police chase on Ohio 741 resulted in the death of Mary Taulbee, a 57-year-old Lebanon Realtor who was not involved in the pursuit.

Alyssa Irwin-Debraux, 18, told witnesses “that the SUV wasn’t hers,” according to Miami Twp. Police Department records.

“She had to get away due to being raped,” according to a witness statement to police. “She stole the car to get away.”

Alyssa Irwin-Debraux

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A second witness statement included similar information.

Irwin-Debraux said “that’s why she took the car and was speeding (because) she was trying to get away,” a witness told police.

The report provides no additional details about the alleged attack.

Miami Twp. police declined to comment about the rape claim. A similar message seeking comment also has been left with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

Irwin-Debraux’s court-appointed attorney, Travis Kane, declined to comment, saying he hadn’t met with his client yet.

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Investigation into Irwin-Debraux “revealed that she does not have a valid license to drive a motor vehicle” and she “admitted that meth, cocaine and marijuana would be found in her system,” according to Ohio State Highway Patrol records this news organization obtained last week.

The owner of the Jeep reported it was stolen just after 6 p.m. from Harrison Twp. and said she was tracking it on GPS when it entered Moraine, records show.

Before the theft, the owner’s fiance said he left keys in the Jeep — but not in the ignition — as he exited it to talk to a co-worker. About 15 minutes later, the fiance said, the vehicle was gone.

Information about the stolen vehicle was relayed to Moraine police and, minutes later, officer Matt Barrie said he spotted a vehicle matching the Jeep’s description.

Records show Barrie sought to perform a traffic stop on Ohio 741 in Moraine and the Jeep fled. Barrie received permission to pursue, recording speeds up to 80 mph southbound into Miami Twp., according to police documents.

As the Jeep and the police cruiser approached Carnation Road, a Hyundai driven by Taulbee and a Chrysler driven by Brandon Miller, 32, of Centerville, were both heading north on Ohio 741, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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The Chrysler swerved to avoid the Jeep and struck the Hyundai. Taulbee’s car then “spun out of control, crossed the center line and into the path” of the Moraine patrol car, according to the state report.

Taulbee — a Realtor in Dayton, Englewood, Lebanon, Miamisburg, Springboro and Washington Twp. — was pronounced dead at Kettering Medical Center.

The Jeep later overturned near the Dayton Mall as it sought to flee Miami Twp. police, officials said. A witness told police Irwin-Debraux crawled from the Jeep. She later was taken into custody.

Irwin-Debraux was indicted on grand theft last week and remains in the Montgomery County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond, jail records show. Authorities have said more charges are expected.

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