Springfield man faces charges in crash that left 1 girl dead, 1 injured

Misdemeanor counts filed in Green Twp. crash

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the timing of additional charges against the driver.)

A Springfield man now faces a vehicular homicide charge after fatally striking a girl and injuring another with his car in Green Twp. earlier this year, and loved ones of the girls are seeking further justice.

The first-degree misdemeanor charge for Jessie Pierson, 40, of Springfield, was filed in the Clark County Municipal Court on Tuesday. The maximum penalty for the charge is 180 days in jail and a possible $1,000 fine.

Pierson also faces two counts of vehicular manslaughter in connection to the death of an 11-year-old following the May 10 pedestrian strike. The second-degree misdemeanor counts each carry possible penalties of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. Those charges also were filed this week.

Pierson had a charge of vehicular manslaughter filed earlier this year, but it was dismissed in September.

Isabel Conley, 11, of Green Twp., died at Dayton Children’s Hospital on May 12 from her injuries.

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The second girl, Tori Fritschie, 14, also of Green Twp., was released from the hospital that month and has been slowly recovering, according to Tracey Conley, the mother of Isabel.

Conley attended Wednesday’s Clark County Commission meeting to discuss what steps the family can take moving forward and the impact of their loss.

The mother said her family would like to see felony charges pursued, and she voiced distress over charges not being filed regarding Fritschie being hit and injured.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was called to Crabill Road near Pitchin Road in Green Twp. around 8:45 p.m. May 10 on the report of two pedestrians hit by a car, according to the patrol’s investigation report filed in the Clark County Municipal Court.

Pierson was driving a 2007 white Jeep Grand Cherokee north on Crabill Road. The girls were walking along the east side of the roadway with a small dog when the car hit them. All were “set into motion” when hit by the car, which stopped in the roadway after heavy braking, according to the report.

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Pierson told troopers that he first saw the two girls and their dog while at a nearby stop sign, where he made a right turn and glanced away for a second and then found the girls were in his path “a couple of feet from the shoulder,” according to his traffic crash statement.

No initial heavy braking was observed by investigators, and no traffic was coming in the opposite direction, according to the OSHP report.

Witnesses told troopers they saw the car swerve to the right toward the girls, who stopped during their dog walk to look at cows on the side of the road. They also reported that Pierson got out of his vehicle after coming to a stop and told people in the area that he didn’t know what happened, as he was on his phone, according to the report.

Alcohol was not found to be a factor in the crash, according to the report.

Conley was a homeschooled student who lived in the Southeastern Local School District, the district confirmed.

Pierson was not listed as an inmate of Clark County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon. A warrant for the man was active as of Wednesday.

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