Five people, including several local musicians, were killed a year ago today in a wrong-way crash blamed on alcohol on Interstate 75. The dead in the crash, blamed on alcohol, included three members of a Dayton rock band CounterFlux and a 61-year-old man who had been arrested for OVI just 48 hours before the crash.
Here are five things to remember on this date recognizing a tragedy.
Young victims: Four friends - Kyle Canter (23 of New Carlisle), Earl Miller II (27 of New Carlisle), Vashti Nicole Brown (29 of Dayton) and Devin Bachmann (26 of Huber Heights) - were killed in one car. Bachmann, Canter and Miller were in the band.
The fifth death: James Pohlabeln, a 61-year-old retiree from Dayton, was the driver of the other car. He had been released from jail just 33 hours earlier in connection with a separate suspected drunken driving crash.
The crash: The band members were northbound on I-75 when a sedan driven by Pohlabeln collided head-first into their sport utility vehicle, which then flipped over onto its roof. The crash was reported about 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 13) in downtown Dayton.
The toxicology reports: Pohlabeln’s blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, according to a Montgomery County Coroner’s screening. Canter, the driver of the SUV, tested positive for substances including tetrahydrocannabinol, the active drug in marijuana, and a blood-alcohol content equivalent of more than twice the legal limit of .08, though officials could not say definitively whether these substances impaired Canter’s ability to drive.
Wrong-way driver in trouble before: Authorities said alcohol likely played a role in the deadly crash.
The Thursday before deadly crash, Pohlabeln was driving eastbound on East Fourth Street near Bell Street when he “apparently lost control and collided” with a parked car, according to a crash report. The report stated the driver was “operating a motor vehicle without reasonable control.” Pohlabeln was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and failure to control.
Pohlabeln was retired and living on investments and savings, according to records related to a divorce case. He lived at a Dayton home he owned since the 1970s and bought from his parents, records showed.
The previous November, Pohlabeln had called his wife, Marcy Pohlabeln, threatening suicide and “suicide by cop” after his brother died, a report showed.
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