Dayton man indicted in deadly, fiery Huber Heights crash

A Dayton man indicted Friday on more than a dozen charges is accused of driving impaired while fleeing deputies and then crashing into three vehicles before the stolen BMW he was driving burst into flames last month in Huber Heights, leading one driver to suffer fatal injuries.

Cory Allen Harbarger, 27, will be arraigned Tuesday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court for two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide; one count of involuntary manslaughter; three counts of aggravated vehicular assault; three counts of vehicular assault; two counts of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer; and one count each of receiving stolen property (motor vehicle); tampering with evidence; and misdemeanor OVI.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

A pickup truck driver — identified as 68-year-old Steven Jay Carlson of Tipp City — later died after suffering third-degree burns to most of his body in the Jan. 24 crash on Brandt Pike near Chambersburg Road.

A Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy spotted a white BMW reported stolen out of Clark County in the AutoZone parking lot on North Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp. Deputies attempted to stop the car, but it eluded them, striking another vehicle as it fled, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

Huber Heights officers later saw the BMW crash on Brandt Pike near Chambersburg Road, according to an affidavit filed in Montgomery County Municipal Court - Eastern Division in Huber Heights.

Harbarger “continued driving erratically at which time he went left of center and struck a Jeep Cherokee, continuing southbound, striking a [Ford] F-150, which then struck a Honda Civic,” the affidavit stated.

Harbarger immediately got out of the car and ran away, but several officers found him hiding in the parking lot of a nearby business. Body-worn camera video released by Huber Heights police shows officers handcuff Harbarger in a U-Haul lot and escort him to a cruiser.

“As all of the occupants from the involved vehicles were attempting to exit their crashed vehicles, the suspect vehicle burst into flames,” the sergeant said.

Passersby helped multiple occupants escape, Huber Heights police Sgt. Josh Fosnight said. However, Carlson suffered third-degree burns to the majority of his body and died Jan. 28. He is survived by his wife, two children, one granddaughter, his mother and two brothers, according to his obituary.

The driver of a Honda sedan who suffered second-degree burns to his leg also was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, and the driver of a vehicle in the crash that did not catch fire was taken to Kettering Health Huber - Emergency Center, along with a child passenger, for treatment of minor injuries.

Harbarger was taken to Miami Valley Hospital with minor injuries. His passenger also went to Miami Valley Hospital, but with second-degree burns in addition to minor crash injuries.

Harbarger reportedly admitted to using heroin and showed signs of impairment following the crash, according to the affidavit.

At the time of the pursuit and crash, Harbarger was wanted in two unrelated cases. He had been convicted in August on three counts of receiving stolen property but failed to appear for sentencing. A warrant was issued in October after he was indicted for aggravated possession of drugs and possession of fentanyl-related compounds, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Attorney Lucas Wilder was appointed to represent Harbarger, who remains held on $1.5 million bail in the Montgomery County Jail.

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