Driver in double-fatal Clinton County crash allegedly was DUI with drugs

By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]




WILMINGTON — The driver in a double-fatal I-71 crash in Clinton County last summer is alleged to have been operating his minivan under the influence of methamphetamine, marijuana, and amphetamine.

Charles K. Paul Jr., 47, of Bauxite, Arkansas has now been indicted on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, plus one count of aggravated vehicular assault.

Two of the minivan passengers — an adult and a child — were pronounced dead at the scene after the 12:02 a.m. June 3 crash on Interstate-71 southbound near the State Route 73 interchange. An 11-year-old girl was transported by MedFlight to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with what the highway patrol described as serious injuries.

Paul was driving a Chrysler Pacifica when it went onto the right berm and struck the trailer of a Freightliner semi-truck parked with mechanical issues, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Both rear passengers of the minivan — 58-year-old Edward Priest and 12-year-old Charles Paul III, both of Bauxite, Arkansas — died. The two aggravated vehicular homicide charges stem from their deaths.

The aggravated vehicular assault charge against Charles Paul Jr. stems from the injuries to the 11-year-old female front passenger of the minivan, Christina Paul.

After the crash, Charles Paul Jr. was flown by CareFlight to Kettering Medical Center with what the highway patrol termed serious injuries.

The aggravated vehicular homicide charges are second-degree felony offenses; the aggravated vehicular assault charge is a third-degree felony offense; and three charges against Charles Paul Jr. of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs are misdemeanors of the first degree.

Also in grand jury sessions from February, two people were indicted on fentanyl-related charges:

• Jesse J. Carpenter, 28, of the New Vienna area, was indicted on a charge of possessing a fentanyl-related compound (F5).

• Jason D. Reeder, 42, whose address is listed as at-large, was indicted on a charge of aggravated possession of meth (F5), a charge of possessing heroin (F5), and a charge of possessing a fentanyl-related compound (F5).

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.



By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]