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South Lebanon man killed in morning crash

A man driving a truck, reportedly without the owner’s permission, was killed early Thursday in a single-vehicle crash on Ohio 132 in Harlan Twp., Warren County, according to investigators.

The crash occurred around 5:20 a.m. when a maroon 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup truck, operated by Abijah Nelson Chasteen Jr., 52, of Warren County, drove off the right side of the road and crashed into two large trees in the 6000 block of Ohi0 132, according to reports from the Warren County Coroner’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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Chasteen reportedly had been followed earlier by a friend of the vehicle’s owner and was not wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred, according to investigators.

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Chasteen lived near the crash site on Ohio 132 in Morrow, but he was carrying a license indicating he lived in South Lebanon, according to Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the coroner’s office.

Chasteen was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:02 a.m., according to the coroner.

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The truck was reportedly taken from Clinton County on Wednesday, Lt. Chuck O’Bryon of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. The owner reported Chasteen was driving it without permission, O’Bryon added.

Troopers believe Chasteen knew the owner of the vehicle and are investigating the case as an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, O’Bryon said.

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Burke said he was told a friend of the vehicle’s owner spotted Chasteen driving the truck and followed him. The friend said he had been separated from Chasteen when he came upon the crash, Burke added.

Chasteen’s body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s office for a full autopsy. The autopsy showed he died of multiple blunt force trauma, according to Burke.

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The crash remains under investigation by the Lebanon Post of the highway patrol.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call 513-932-4444.

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