DAYTON, Ohio—The driver of a wrong-way car that killed five, including himself, in an Ohio interstate crash was jailed just over a day earlier on suspicion of drunken driving, records show.
An investigation continues into the early Saturday crash on Interstate 75 in downtown Dayton that killed driver James Pohlabeln and four people in an SUV he slammed into, including three members of a local hard-rock band.
Pohlabeln was arrested early Thursday after his car collided with a parked car in Dayton, the Dayton Daily News reported Sunday.
The report listed the offense as “operating a motor vehicle without reasonable control.” The paper reported that Pohlabeln was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and failure to control. He was released about 7 p.m. Thursday on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty in municipal court, according to the paper.
Investigators suspect Pohlabeln had been drinking when the head-on collision happened about 3 a.m. Saturday. He’s also suspected of driving the wrong way on nearby State Route 4 before the crash.
Ten fatal crashes occurred in Ohio in 2014 involving drivers traveling the wrong way or on the wrong side, according to the most recent Ohio Department of Public Safety records. Twelve such crashes were reported the previous year.
Three men killed in the SUV were members of a hard-rock band, CounterFlux, that played across the region as well as Kentucky. A female passenger in the SUV was also killed.
“There’s nothing worse than losing friends, family or otherwise,” surviving members of the band posted on the band’s Facebook page.