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Police: Wanted man flees traffic stop, causes car crash that kills 1

Drugs are suspected to be a contributing factor in the crash, the patrol said.
Drugs are suspected to be a contributing factor in the crash, the patrol said.(WTAP)
Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 2:59 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A man suspected of fleeing police ran a stop sign in Wooster and struck another vehicle, killing the occupant.

The crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday after officers attempted to stop a vehicle they say was speeding northbound on Melrose Drive, according to a media release from the Wooster police.

The speeding vehicle, a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado, refused to stop and instead turned east onto Smithville Western Road, according to the release and a statement from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Officers attempted to catch up to the vehicle that turned north on Hoffman Road.

Officers terminated the pursuit and lost sight of the vehicle, but moments later discovered a crash involving the vehicle they believe was driven by the fleeing motorist.

According to a preliminary investigation, the fleeing vehicle ran a stop sign at the intersection of Hutton Road and SR-3 and struck another vehicle, the release said.

The driver of that vehicle, Douglas D. Arnold, 65, was ejected and died at the scene of the crash, according to the OSHP. A passenger in the suspect vehicle, Melisa C. Taylor, 44, of Wooster, was flown to a hospital via Life Flight in serious condition.

Police say the driver of the suspect vehicle was Rodney Roper, 44, of Wooster. He was alert at the scene of the crash.

Roper had active warrants out for his arrest, according to the Wooster police.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Drugs are suspected to be a contributing factor in the crash, the patrol said.

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