Londoner dies in high-speed chase
By GARY HUFFENBERGER
OCM News Service
A high-speed chase ended in a collision involving three vehicles on State Route 73 east of Wilmington, leaving the driver of the car being pursued dead.
Joseph Noble, 26, of London, led law enforcement on a high-speed chase inside Wilmington and then out in the county. Noble died at the scene after Wilmington police administered first aid, according to Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand, who arrived at the scene after the crash.
There was another person in a second vehicle injured in the crash, Sonja R. Cayaditto, 26, of New Vienna. She was transported to Clinton Memorial Hospital and is expected to be released, said a press release from Lt. Aaron L. Gentry of the Wilmington post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The driver of the third vehicle, James Farhay, 42, of Hillsboro, was not hurt.
Evidence of alcohol consumption was discovered at the scene, said the patrol. Speed was a causative factor as well, added the patrol.
Weyand said a Wilmington police officer on patrol in the city at 7:07 p.m. passed by a car heading south on South South Street at Sugartree Street that was traveling more than 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. The officer patrolled the area but lost sight of the car, the chief said.
People pointed the patrolling cruiser in the direction of Truesdell Street and the officer notified other officers what had occurred, said Weyand.
A second Wilmington Police Department (WPD) officer was patrolling in the Southridge subdivision and the 1997 Honda Civic came at the cruiser at a high rate of speed, reported Weyand.
A third WPD officer observed the vehicle near Wilmington College and blocked half an intersection in an attempt to contain the vehicle, Weyand said.
Though the driver was able to evade the roadblock and took off at a high rate of speed, said the chief, the officer was able to identify the driver as Noble from prior arrests.
The officer checked and verified Noble was wanted on arrest warrants and had no license to drive, said Weyand.
Weyand said he did not know what charges the warrants contained.
Noble left city limits at a high rate of speed, running “multiple cars off the road,” said the chief of police.
With the pursuit outside city limits, WPD took a trailing position on the pursuit, with the sheriff’s office now involved, according to Weyand.
A WPD officer anticipated Noble might attempt to return to Wilmington on State Route 73 and headed that way, said the chief. The Honda did get onto State Route 73 and was heading toward Wilmington, he said.
The Honda appears to have left the state route roadway in the vicinity of Steele Road, said Weyand. Noble lost control of the vehicle, he said, and the three-vehicle collision took place.
The Honda ended in a ditch along a farm field, and police began first aid but within a few minutes, Noble died, said Weyand.
The police chief was asked whether it would have been a good idea for the high-speed pursuit, at some point, to be called off.
After a pause, Weyand said, “That’s a tough one. I’m not going to answer that right now.”
The WPD has a policy regarding high-speed chases, and the Monday evening pursuit will be reviewed in accordance with the policy, he said.
Clinton County Sheriff Office Chief Deputy Brian Prickett said Monday night that his office also will look at the pursuit in terms of the sheriff’s office high-speed chase policy. He said “on the surface of it,” it appears to be consistent with the sheriff’s office policy.
The incident is still under investigation, Weyand said Monday night at the scene as night fell.
The Wilmington post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol will be in charge of compiling the crash report, said Weyand.