OVI driver who hit Sidney natural gas line appears in court

UPDATE @ 10:51 a.m. (April 18)

In Sidney Municipal Court today, Ryan Joseph Cathcart pleaded not guilty to an OVI charge. He was released on his own recognizance. 

UPDATE @5:57 a.m. 

Ryan Joseph Cathcart is being held at the Shelby County Jail on driving under the influence charges related to the crash. 

UPDATE @ 3:05 a.m.  

A suspected intoxicated driver slammed into a natural gas line and a building on North Ohio Avenue in Sidney, sparking a large fire that destroyed the structure.  

Police and fire crews were first dispatched to the 100 block of North Ohio Avenue around 11 p.m. Monday on reports of a vehicle slamming into a building. 

Sidney Fire Deputy Chief Cameron Haller said a pickup truck went off the road, struck and broke a natural gas line in front of the building. The crash sparked a fire that quickly spread though all three floors of the structure. 

Sidney police Sgt. Warren Melerine said part of the building was occupied by a ceramics business. Other parts of the building were used for storage of items used for a dance recital coming up in a few weeks. 

The driver, whose identity was not available, was pulled from the crash by bystanders and was not injured. Melerine said the driver was arrested and transported to the Shelby County Jail. The possible charges the driver may face were not available.

Firefighters in Sidney are battling a building fire on Ohio Avenue after a vehicle reportedly slammed into the building and burst into flames.

“We have something that could have been so easily prevented with a designated driver,” Melerine said. “All family, friends, taxi service here in town; Any of those could have prevented a lot of people from being placed in a great deal of harm.”

Haller said the fire has caused the roof of the building to collapse and firefighters are now working defensively to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby structures. 

All departments across Shelby County sent crews to battle the blaze, something Haller said he hasn’t seen since a large warehouse fire in Sidney in the early 2000s. 

Firefighters are expected to be on scene through the overnight hours. 

UPDATE @ 12:45 a.m. 

Firefighters are continuing to battle flames from a building on North Ohio Avenue in Sidney after a pickup truck slammed into the building and caught fire. 

We’re told crews are working to assess the damage to the structure. 

We’re working to find out if anyone has been injured in the incident. 

FIRST REPORT

Firefighters in Sidney are battling a building fire on North Ohio Avenue after a vehicle reportedly slammed into the building and burst into flames. 

Callers into this newsroom indicate a pickup truck crashed into a building in the 100 block of Ohio Avenue around 11 p.m. and immediately burst into flames. 

It was not clear if there were any injuries. 

Dispatchers declined to release any details. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as new details become available. 

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Ryan Joseph Cathcart

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