Hours After DUI Bust, Driver in DUI Crash That Kills 5

The 61-year-old was going the wrong way
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2016 7:03 AM CST
Hours After DUI Bust, Driver in DUI Crash That Kills 5
James Pohlabeln killed four people in a suspected drunken driving wrong-way collision in Dayton, Ohio, some 30 hours after he was arrested in a different DUI-related crash.   (Montgomery County Jail)

"It was coming right at me," said a 911 caller in Dayton, Ohio, who had pulled over to avoid a collision with a wrong-way driver on I-75 early Saturday. Soon after, there was another call: "There is a car on top of another car," the second caller said. "The people are stuck inside." Five people died in the crash, the Dayton Daily News reports. Among the dead in the suspected drunken driving accident was 61-year-old James Pohlabeln, the driver who was going the wrong way. The divorced retiree had been released from jail in connection with another suspected drunk driving crash just 33 hours earlier. Also killed were Kyle Canter, 23, Earl Miller II, 27, Devin Bachmann, 26—all members of local hard rock band Counterflux—and 29-year-old Vashti Nicole Brown. The four were in a SUV being driven by Canter, the night's designated driver, a Counterflux member tells ABC 22.

A message on the Counterflux Facebook page calls the three men "our lost brothers" and urges people not to drink and drive. "Your actions and choices affect more than just you," the post says. "And though a totaled car can be replaced a life cannot." Police arrested Pohlabeln some 48 hours before the fatal collision after he crashed into two parked cars around 2:20am. He pleaded not guilty and was released from jail Thursday night. Pohlabeln was "a very nice guy," but he had a drinking problem, a neighbor tells WHIO. “He would be drinking and driving, pull up and his vehicle would be half parked,” she says, recounting a time when she and her son had to carry a drunken Pohlabeln into his house after he stumbled out of his car and fell to the pavement. (Another suspected DUI crash killed a Marine soon after his poignant Facebook post.)

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