Driver impaired in double-fatal crash in Clinton County faces up to 23 years

By John Hamilton -

WILMINGTON — A plea deal was reached for a man accused of a double-fatal accident last summer.

Charles Paul Jr., 47, originally from Bauxite, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated vehicular homicide (a felony 2 offense) and aggravated vehicular assault (a felony 3 offense) on Monday in Clinton County Common Pleas Court.

The plea deal saw the dismissal of three additional charges of operating a vehicle while under the influence — all misdemeanor 1 offenses. Each charge stems from Paul allegedly being under the influence of methamphetamine, marijuana, and amphetamine.

Paul, currently incarcerated at the Clinton County Jail, is scheduled for sentencing on July 28. He faces up to 23 years in prison.

The crash occurred in June last year where two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene on I-71 southbound near the State Route 73 interchange. A now 12-year-old girl was transported by MedFlight to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with what the Ohio State 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 OSHP.

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 now 12-year-old female front passenger of the minivan, Christina Paul.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574