The Springfield man accused of causing a crash that killed two Springfield youths and hiding from investigators for nearly two weeks has been caught and spoke to the Springfield News-Sun in an exclusive interview Monday.
Angel Rojas, 19, was arrested Sunday night at the Drake Motel. He pleaded not guilty in Clark County Municipal Court on Monday to charges of resisting arrest and hit and run.
In an interview with the News-Sun at the Clark County Jail, Rojas said he’s sorry about the crash and doesn’t know why he ran from the scene.
“It feels like a nightmare. I wish I could just wake up,” Rojas said.
Officers had searched for Rojas since an April 7 crash in Springfield Twp. on Columbus Avenue where Tristin Sherman, 18, and Juan Compton, 21, died. Another passenger was injured and the fourth passenger, Davon Moore, remains at Miami Valley Hospital in serious condition.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers and U.S. Marshals arrested Rojas in Sunday evening.
During his arrest, a state trooper used a stun gun on Rojas in the back of his leg, according to Springfield Post Commander Lt. Brian Aller.
Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson asked the judge to set a high bond because he believes Rojas is a flight risk with contacts out of state.
Rojas also cut and dyed his hair since the accident.
“He’s been able to elude the marshal’s task force since the seventh of April,” Wilson said.
Rojas told the News-Sun that he hid out in stores and restaurant bathrooms for hours at a time.
Rojas said he started driving the night of the crash after one of the girls in the car got a flat tire and he fixed it. He wasn’t excessively speeding, he said, but lost control while turning and then crashed after he over corrected.
“I might have been going 5, 10 miles over the speed limit,” Rojas said. “It was wet, foggy and that turn is just a dangerous turn … I wish I could take it back, but there’s nothing I can do but say sorry. I hurt in my heart every single day.”
He doesn’t know why he ran from the crash scene.
“I didn’t really even mean to run,” he said. “I was just scared. I don’t know why I ran. I don’t know. I was in shock.”
His cousin Robert Banks said Monday his family was relived to hear Rojas had been found.
“We feel better now we know where he is at,” Banks said.
Banks knew Compton well because he often came over to visit Rojas.
“We are all in mourning,” Banks said. “We feel bad for the families.”
The victims’ families were in court Monday and spoke with the prosecutor, but declined an interview request.
Wilson said he plans to present the case to a Clark County Grand Jury next week.
The state patrol has expedited the crash reconstruction, Aller said, because it is considered a high-profile case. The final report should be ready in about two weeks.
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