Law enforcement speaks about the loss of a victim from a fatal car crash
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) -- Dash camera video shows what caused a short chase in Dayton to end in a deadly crash early Saturday morning on Oakridge Drive.
An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper initiated a traffic stop for a suspected impaired driver on Gettysburg Avenue. Dash camera shows the vehicle turn right onto Oakridge Drive before accelerating through a residential neighborhood.
"The individual ran through an intersection which was posted with a stop sign," Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Frank Simmons, Jr. said. "The vehicle appeared to have bottomed out."
Moments later the driver, 37-year-old Thurston Melson, lost control of the vehicle and hit a utility pole, splitting the car.
35 year-old Ebony Radford of Dayton was pronounced dead at the scene from her injuries.
"We have an individual who was, by all stretch of the imagination, innocent," Sgt. Simmons said. "I could imagine she was pleading with the driver to stop the vehicle. Once we start involving innocent folks into these situations, it's absolutely uncalled for."
Melson was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in serious condition at last check.
Meanwhile, friends and family continue to mourn the loss of Radford, who was a mother of one.
"She was a free spirit and had a smile that was contagious and that would light up a room," Nichola Taylor, Radford's friend, said. "She was very family oriented and funny. Nothing made her happier than having family time, dancing, laughing and joking with her loved ones."
Law enforcement is hoping this tragedy will serve as a reminder as to how dangerous fleeing and eluding police officers can be.
"It's tragic and totally avoidable," Sgt. Simmons said. "All the individual had to do was stop his vehicle and deal with whatever was downstream."
There is a special tribute walk/jog planned for Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Riverscape. Organizers say they'll be accepting donations to help Radford's family with funeral costs.