Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Public safety briefs



Fatal hit-run suspect arrested

DELHI TWP. - The person who police said ran from them early Monday and caused a car crash that killed a 21-year-old college student and injured two other people was arrested Tuesday.

Eugene Lee, 43, was jailed at the Hamilton County Justice Center on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an auto accident.

He is scheduled to appear before a judge this morning. Acting on an anonymous tip, police arrested Lee at 1:15 a.m. in St. Bernard at a relative's house, Delhi police Lt. Ric Ideker said.

Police said Lee fled a police officer in his white, 1987 Chevy S-10 pickup truck shortly before 1 a.m. Monday.

Officer Jena Poppe was about to question him after seeing him tampering with coin machines at a car wash, authorities said. He ran a red light at the intersection of Delhi and Pedretti roads, striking a blue 1998 Acura, police said, and was driving on a suspended license.

Killed was backseat passenger Mark Miller of Delhi, a student at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and a 2001 Elder High School graduate. Injured were Joseph Joyce, 25, of Delhi, and Erin O'Brien, 21, of Dillsboro, Ind. Joyce was treated at University Hospital and released. O'Brien was in fair condition Tuesday.

Vacant hotel hit by fire

SYCAMORE TWP. - Firefighters from at least 11 area fire departments battled a blaze Tuesday night at the closed Royal Vale Crown Hotel that caused extensive damage to the hotel that has been vacant for a year.

Flames lapped out of the building and smoke could be seen for miles from the hotel at 7961 Reading Road, adjacent to the old Carrousel Inn, which is also vacant. The fire was reported at 4:45 p.m. and extinguished about 8 p.m.

The building sustained major damage, according to Sycamore Township Fire Department.

No one was injured.

Late Tuesday, fire officials had not determined a cause, but said the cause was suspicious.

Ex-deputy admits drug charge

LEBANON - A former Warren County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to one count of theft in office in connection with a small amount of marijuana taken from an evidence locker, prosecutors said.

Michael Moore of Batavia will be sentenced in about 30 days. The felony charge carries a penalty of up to 12 months in prison.

In July, Moore was convicted of illegal possession of dangerous drugs, but it is not known when he will be sentenced on that charge. A jury deadlocked on five other drug-related charges against Moore.

Prosecutors had said they would retry Moore on those charges, but they have now been dismissed as part of the theft-in-office plea, Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said Tuesday.

Patrol: Pilot caused crash

HARRISON - Pilot inattention caused two single-engine planes to collide in mid-air Sunday at the Cincinnati West Airport, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The agency does not plan to take any action against the pilots involved in the crash, officials said Tuesday. But the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board also are conducting investigations, which are expected to take at least several weeks.

The FAA could take action if the agency finds that any of the pilots violated federal regulations, said Martha Lunken, the safety program manager for the Cincinnati office.

Three men walked away from the planes with injuries that were not life-threatening and taken to University Hospital, authorities said.

The two planes were practicing landings when they collided at 300 to 400 feet. The planes landed, one on top of the other, in a gravel pit.

A flight instructor who witnessed the collision said the landing gear of one plane struck the top of the other plane.

The pilot of the aircraft that came down on top of the other, Jack H. Behr, 63, of Cleves, was at fault, according to the patrol.




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