Officer ‘likely closer’ than distance guideline in deadly high-speed chase

The Moraine police officer involved in a deadly high-speed chase said he probably was pursuing a suspect vehicle closer than the suggested distance before the fatal collision with a different vehicle occurred, newly obtained records show.

Officer Matt Barrie said his Sept. 11 chase of a Jeep suspected of being stolen “was likely closer than” the three to six seconds recommended for pursuits, according Moraine Police Division documents obtained by this news organization through a public records request.

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Barrie, the 2017 Moraine Officer of the Year, also said he was not wearing his safety belt for at least some of the chase on Ohio 741, which records now show reached 85 mph.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the southbound pursuit resulted in the cruiser Barrie was driving colliding with a northbound car driven by Lebanon Realtor Mary Taulbee, who died from injuries in that crash, according to the coroner’s office.

“He acknowledged that he should have been wearing his safety belt the entire time,” police records show.

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Alyssa Irwin-DeBraux, 18, of Dayton was later arrested on suspicion of grand theft in connect with the theft of the Jeep, which later flipped near the Dayton Mall.

Irwin-DeBraux has been since been indicted on that charge. A judge entered a not guilty plea for her.

She has been in the Montgomery County Jail since the night of the wreck. She is being held on a $25,000 cash bond and her case has been continued until Oct. 29.


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