Driver, bystander killed in Darke County crash

Deadly crash on SR 571
Deadly crash on SR 571

GREENVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – A driver and a good samaritan were both killed late Sunday when they were hit by a vehicle.

Darke County Sheriff’s Deputies tell 2 NEWS Richard Stephenson, 49, lost control on SR 571 and went off the road. His car hit several trees and flipped over.

Several people passing by stopped to help Stephenson.

As they were trying to get the him out of the overturned vehicle, police say a Jeep driven by Chad Bradburn approached the scene.

Bradburn was unable to stop and hit Stephenson and 47-year-old Linda Shafer, who was standing nearby. Stephenson and Shafer were killed.

Deputies are looking at alcohol as a possible contributing factor in the second crash.

Darke County Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker tells us there’s no good rule for when you should help a driver on the road.

“It’s a personal decision when you decide to get involved in an incident like this,” he added on, “I think most human beings have a desire to help their fellow man.”

At this time, Bradburn has not been charged. Deputies say once their investigation is complete, the report will be handed over to the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office. Chief Deputy Whittaker says Bradburn has cooperated with the investigation.

“We’re still gathering all the facts. It takes probable cause to make an arrest. We’re not going to get the cart before the horse,” Whittaker said.

SR 571 between Fisher-Dangler Rd. and Kniseley Rd. has since been reopened.

Chief Deputy Whittaker tells 2 NEWS that roads such as SR 571 can be hazardous, and drivers must pay careful attention no matter which stretch of road they’re on.

“It was night-time, it was very dark on the roadway. It was on a curve, and it was on a slight incline. These were the makings of a potentially dangerous issue.”

He says defensive driving is one of the best things to practice on the roadways.

“You need to slow down and pay attention on the roadway,” he added, “This could happen on a straight level road. Just general defensive driving techniques are what all people need to practice.”

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